Canada halts all flights from the U.K. for 72 hours to prevent spread of COVID-19 variant

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      Canada has joined a growing list of countries that don't want any flights landing from the United Kingdom.

      "At midnight tonight, and for the next 72 hours, all flights from the UK will be prohibited from entering Canada," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.

      "Passengers who arrived today are subject to secondary screening and enhanced security measures."

      This comes after an outbreak of the variant form of COVID-19 in southern England. According to British prime minister Boris Johnson, this strain can be up to 70 percent more contagious than the more common COVID-19 virus.

      There's no evidence so far that the variant form is more virulent or whether it's resistant to new COVID-19 vaccines.

      “Our government will continue to do what’s necessary to protect the health of Canadians," Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in a government news release. "These additional measures will allow public health officials time to gather further evidence and help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

      The Netherlands was the first country to ban air travel from the U.K., followed by Belgium.

      Canada's ban does not apply to flights carrying only cargo.

      Video: British prime minister Boris Johnson says there's no evidence that the new COVID-19 variant causes more severe illness or higher mortality.