A new coronavirus variant identified in the United Kingdom resulted in authorities imposing a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southeast England. While residents expressed dismay over Christmas and New Year celebrations being cancelled following tightened restrictions during the festive period, countries world over have also placed restrictions on travel from the UK following fear of the further spread of Covid-19. Since the lockdown was announced on Saturday, more than a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East have restricted travel from the UK and in some cases, also travel from other countries that have documented cases with the variant. These include the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.
In South Africa, a different coronavirus variant has been reported, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, Maria van Kerkhove, said on Monday. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is working to support British nationals affected by the travel disruptions caused by the new restrictions, which have cut off UK travelers from much of Europe and other parts of the world. Twitter users have been posting diverse reactions regarding the Tier 4 lockdown in the UK.
— paul-in-the-sun (@paulincyprussun) December 21, 2020
— #UKlockdown (@UKlockdown4) December 22, 2020
— UnicornsRock (@UnicornsRockUK) December 22, 2020
— Jagwar (@Zaibi1786) December 22, 2020
— Bunny 🐰 (@MemesByZayn) December 22, 2020
“The great British Empire could never thought of being isolated merely because of this dangerous contagion,” read a post. Another added, “Waking up this morning and thinking “Cool, the electricity’s still on” #BrexitDisaster#28DaysLater#UKlockdown.” Many users weighed in on how the new coronavirus variant may be 71% transmissible but there is no evidence regarding how deadly it is. “Far there have been no evidence to suggest that mutant #COVID20 is more deadly. #UKlockdown Be Careful #London,” wrote a user. Other’s joked about how Covid-19 has gotten an update. “COVID-19 got an update. #COVID20 New strain of Corona virus is her Stay safe #UKlockdown.”
— Amber (@amber1998xox) December 20, 2020
— Jesy ☀️ (@_Jesyyy) December 20, 2020
— Morty (@mancmorty) December 19, 2020
— ❄️Charlie Klesnow-Rogers ☃️FRSA (@cklebers_) December 20, 2020
— C.E. Tidswell (@CE_Author) December 20, 2020
Another user posted a picture of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which shows him smiling at the camera while showing a thumbs-up sign. Responding to the image, the user captioned it, “Well this tweet has not aged well has it #tier4#UKlockdown#BorisJohnson. This is going to be a fantastic year for Britain.” Others noted they wouldn’t be surprised if a Tier 5 lockdown is imposed in the near future. “Tier 5 coming just before NYE! Basically a rip off of BirdBox where your blinds must be drawn and you can’t look at outside air #tier4#London#UKlockdown.” A user uploaded a picture of people inside inflatable bubbles and wrote, “In tier 5 we all have to travel around in those inflatable bubbles they have at fairs sometimes.”