EU officials are discussing a joint response to a new, more infectious Covid-19 variant in the UK, which has sparked travel bans by many countries.
Canada and India joined European states in blocking flights from the UK while Europe-bound train services via the Channel Tunnel have been halted.
The new variant is said to be up to 70% more transmissible, but there is no evidence that it is more deadly.
There is also no proof to suggest that it reacts differently to vaccines.
Two meetings are taking place in Brussels on Monday – one involving health ministers and another with the EU’s crisis response team. But no decision is expected until Tuesday, when EU ambassadors meet.
A French official told the BBC’s Gavin Lee that they were desperate to reopen the borders “as soon as safely possible”, with one option discussed being the requirement that UK travellers – including lorry drivers – prove they have had a recent negative Covid-19 test.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier said the new variant was “out of control”, while Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands announced they had already detected it.
Also on Monday, the EU’s medicines regulator approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use in all 27 member states.
The vaccine is already being administered in the UK and in the US, and some European countries plan to begin administering doses from 27 December.
Which countries have acted and how?
France suspended all travel links, including freight lorries, with the UK for 48 hours from midnight (23:00 GMT) on Sunday. Thousands of lorries move between the countries every day.
Eurotunnel said it would suspend access to its Folkestone terminal for traffic heading to Calais. People booked to travel on Monday can get a refund. Trains will still run from Calais to Folkestone.
The ferry terminal at Dover is now closed for all accompanied traffic leaving the UK until further notice because of the French restrictions. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a Cobra emergency response meeting to discuss the issue on Monday.
Other countries took different action in response to the new virus variant:
- Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia all suspended flights from the UK
- One of the most popular holiday destinations for UK citizens, Spain, also suspended flights
- Italy blocked all flights from the UK until 6 January, while the Netherlands banned all passenger flights from the UK until 1 January “at the latest”. Ferry passengers are also barred from arriving in the Netherlands from the UK, although freight can continue
- Belgium halted flights and trains from the UK from midnight for at least 24 hours
- Greece extended its quarantine period for travellers from the UK from three days to seven
In the Republic of Ireland, flights arriving from Britain are banned for 48 hours at least from midnight on Sunday and people have been asked not to “travel to Ireland, by air or sea”. Ferry crossings for freight will continue
- Turkey has temporarily banned all flights from the UK, as have Norway and Switzerland
- Canada has suspended entry of all passenger flights from the UK for 72 hours, effective from midnight (05:00 GMT). Passengers who arrived in Canada from the UK on Sunday would be “subject to secondary screening and enhanced measures, including increased scrutiny of quarantine plans”, it said.
- Russia is suspending flights from the UK for one week
- India is suspending flights from the UK from 23:59 (18:29 GMT) on Tuesday until 31 December
- Hong Kong, Israel, Iran, Croatia, Morocco and Kuwait brought in restrictions on UK travel
- In Latin America, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru all banned flights from the UK
- Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for one week because of the pandemic while Jordan suspended flights from the UK for two weeks