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Passengers Crowd Heathrow For Last Flight To Dublin Before Travel Ban

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Passengers Crowd Heathrow For Last Flight To Dublin Before Travel Ban

Passengers gathered at a busy Heathrow Airport last night in an attempt to board the last flight to Dublin after several European countries closed their doors to travel from the UK.

The Netherlands and Belgium were the first to announce their travel ban, but France, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland and Denmark have now followed suit in banning flights from Britain into Europe for at least 48 hours.

Ireland has also announced a temporary ban, but that did not come into effect until midnight last night, leading crowds to gather at Heathrow's Terminal 5 last night awaiting a reportedly overbooked British Airways flight operated by Aer Lingus due to depart at 8:55pm.

The Irish Government reportedly gave another flight late permission to take off at 10:30pm and land just 15 minutes before the travel ban was effected.

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Passenger Rachael Scully tweeted: "Irish gov have given the green light and we've been processed for a BA flight. Due to land at 23:45. Woops of joy once the news got out. A Christmas miracle!"

The ban also includes passengers travelling on ferries across the Irish Sea.

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

A British Airways spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline: "Our teams looked after customers while we urgently looked into alternative arrangements to get them on their way to Dublin as quickly as possible."

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However, many in Ireland have implored passengers not to travel because of the risk that the new variant of the coronavirus could be travelling along with them.

The strain, which is thought to be as much as 70 percent more infectious, has been the catalyst for many countries decision to introduce bans on travellers heading out of the UK.

One person commented: "With all due respect guys, you are traveling from one of highest infected regions with a more infectious strain of #Covid_19..You guys run the risk of bringing it to #Ireland. Please consider staying put. It's hard I know."

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter
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Another said: "Pls rethink your plans. You risk bringing a more contagious strain of covid to Ireland. Elderly and vulnerable people are literally spending Xmas alone, inside afraid of seeing their families. Don't be selfish, flights from the UK to here are now being stopped for good reason."

As well as the European countries that have banned British travellers, Israel, Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and El Salvador have also shut their borders.

The United States has yet to act, whereas Canada has enforced an initial 72-hour ban.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Ireland, UK News, travel

Tom Wood
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