London's Heathrow Airport was pictured descending into chaos last night as hundreds of passengers scrambled onto the last flight to Dublin minutes before a Covid-19 travel ban set in at midnight to nations across Europe including Ireland.
Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee today after more than a dozen countries - initially in Europe and then around the world - announced they were stopping flights from the UK, following the discovery of the '70 per cent more infectious' mutant coronavirus strain which plunged London and the south east into Tier Four.
France joined Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland and Denmark in banning all flights carrying passengers from the UK into Europe for at least a 48 hour period, with some suspending flights into the New Year, while assessing the new strain.
Israel, Turkey, Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and El Salvador later followed suit, while pressure was last night mounting on the United States to take action after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was putting a 72-hour stop on travel from the UK.
Crowds of people had packed into Heathrow Terminal 5 to await updates of a reportedly overbooked British Airways flight, operated by Aer Lingus, which was scheduled to take off at 8.55pm to Dublin.
Passenger Rachael Scully, 23, tweeted that the Irish Government eventually gave the 'green light' for the flight which was set to leave at 10:30pm and due to land with 15 minutes to spare before the travel ban at midnight.
The flight ban has officially started but these are the ARRIVALS
Still a mixed situation with DEPARTURES
It is hard to escape the conclusion this has a lot to do with BREXIT and little to do with public health.