Britain, struggling to include an outbreak of what officers stated was a extra contagious variant of the coronavirus, discovered itself more and more remoted on Monday as nations raced to ban vacationers from the nation, suspending flights and slicing off commerce routes.

France imposed a 48-hour suspension of freight transit throughout the English Channel, leaving hundreds of truck drivers stranded of their autos on Monday because the roads resulting in England’s ports had been became parking heaps. A few quarter of all meals eaten in Britain is produced within the European Union. Stocks slid on the news.

The speedy collection of occasions and escalating variety of nations that all of the sudden closed their borders was paying homage to the early frenzied days of the pandemic, when worldwide journey floor to a halt. Whereas most nations directed their restrictions on Britain, Saudi Arabia went even additional in attempting to halt the variant from gaining traction, asserting a one week ban on all worldwide journey, based on the Saudi Press Company.

European Union leaders deliberate to fulfill on Monday to plan a “widespread doctrine” for coping with the variant’s risk. And Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain was planning to convene the federal government’s emergency committee.

The French transportation minister, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, stated on Twitter on Monday that France was working to “arrange a sturdy well being protocol” enabling site visitors leaving Britain to renew however that it was unclear how quickly such an answer could possibly be discovered.

The disruption comes at a time of heightened uncertainty, with site visitors on the ports already swelling earlier than the Dec. 31 Brexit deadline. With time working out for a commerce deal, Mr. Johnson and his European counterparts proceed to interact in frantic last-minute negotiations.

The swift motion taken by France and different nations mirrored the alarm sparked by the British authorities’s announcement {that a} new variant of the virus was spreading uncontrolled in London and surrounding areas.

Mr. Johnson, chatting with the nation on Saturday night time as he announced draconian restrictions on movement, stated that the variant had been proven to be 70 p.c extra contagious than different variants.

Viral mutations are not uncommon, and British officers stated this variant had been detected in a handful of different nations. The estimate of higher transmissibility for the variant relies on modeling and has not been confirmed by lab experiments, stated Muge Cevik, an infectious illness professional on the College of St. Andrews in Scotland and a scientific adviser to the British authorities.

“Over all, I feel we have to have just a little bit extra experimental information,” she stated. “We will’t solely rule out the truth that a few of this transmissibility information is likely to be associated to human habits.”

British officers stated there was no motive to consider that the brand new variant prompted extra critical sickness.

Even with a lot in regards to the variant unsure — together with how broadly it was already circulating all over the world — nations wasted no time in searching for to basically quarantine England.

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Eire Italy and the Netherlands all introduced restrictions on journey inside hours of Mr. Johnson’s speech. Poland stated it will droop flights between the 2 nations beginning Monday night time.

Past the European Union, Canada, India, Iran, Israel and Russia had been among the many locations issuing their very own restrictions.

Hong Kong on Monday additionally closed its borders to travelers from Britain, saying all passenger flights from the nation could be barred beginning at midnight. The ban might be prolonged for the primary time to Hong Kong residents, in addition to transit passengers who spent greater than two hours in Britain over the previous two weeks.

Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s well being secretary, acknowledged that the journey ban comes as many college students are returning to Hong Kong for the vacations. “We’ve by no means imposed such extreme restrictions on any area previously, however the variant in Britain is spreading so quickly that it’s crucial to dam the unfold of this mutation from its supply,” she stated at a information convention.

As well as, anybody who arrived in Hong Kong from Britain previously three weeks might be required to quarantine for a further week and submit additional samples for testing.

In america, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York urged the federal authorities to take motion, saying that “proper now, this variant within the U.Okay. is getting on a aircraft and flying to J.F.Okay.,” whereas additionally acknowledging that it might be too late. The State Division stated that its journey advisory for Britain remained unchanged at Stage 3.