A new coronavirus variant first identified in England has resulted in British travelers being cut off from much of Europe and other parts of the world.

Passenger traffic from Great Britain will be suspended until January because of a new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading in the U.K. Photograph: Oliver Holzbauer/Flickr

All passenger air services from Great Britain to Finland will be suspended for two weeks from December 21, 2020. According to the opinion Traficom received from the Finnish institute of health and welfare (THL), the temporary suspension of passenger air services as a measure is currently in proportion to the nature of the threat to restrict the coronavirus spread.

A new coronavirus variant has prompted the U.K. government to impose a lockdown in London and southeastern England and tighten restrictions for all of the country over the festive period. U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hanckock said on Sunday that the virus is “out of control.” On Sunday, the UK broke its daily coronavirus case record, recording 35,928 new cases.

THL regards in its opinion to Traficom that it is necessary to suspend air passenger services from Great Britain to Finland immediately for two weeks. Concerning the pandemic threat, the measures are in proportion of the nature of the threat.

Based on THL’s opinion, Traficom has decided to suspend passenger air services from Great Britain to Finland for two weeks from December 21, 2020, at noon to January 4, 2021, at 11:59.

Traficom has issued the decision based on section 167 of the Aviation Act concerning article 21 of the common rules for the operation of air services in the Community. According to the Regulation, it is possible to refuse or limit conditions on the exercise of traffic rights to deal with sudden problems of short duration resulting from unforeseeable and unavoidable circumstances.