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Forty countries have blocked travel to and from the United Kingdom. European countries, Canada, Iran, Russia and India are among them. The reason is because of a new strain of COVID-19. The new coronavirus is a mutant - it has changed from the original virus that started spreading earlier this year. Some nations blocked transport links to the UK for a few days; others for at least two weeks. Many countries are reviewing the situation. The biggest problems are being caused by a travel ban from France. A lot of the UK's food comes across the English Channel from France.
The UK government says the new virus is 70% more infectious than the original coronavirus. It is so fast-spreading that it is "out of control". Many parts of the UK are now in lockdown. The government issued new rules about mixing with other people. Most people can only spend Christmas with the people they live with. They cannot travel to see other family members or friends. A politician said: "The news over the last 24 hours has been deeply disturbing. The number of coronavirus cases has nearly doubled." The UK leader told people that there would be enough food.
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