The move comes amid reports that a potentially even more dangerous mutated form of the COVID-19 virus has been found in south-eastern England, and a desire among EU members to prevent its transmission to the continent.
The UK government announced a 'lockdown' in London and the south-east of England on Saturday which prompted chaotic scenes at railway stations as people tried to flee the capital.
Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs confirmed on social media that the government would make a decision Sunday evening with numerous other EU member states doing likewise.
⛔️ Due to the new strain of #Covid19 #Latvia suspends all traffic to the United Kingdom from midnight December 21 to January 1, 2021. pic.twitter.com/M7aPZB3RjZ— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) December 20, 2020
Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits said his ministry had submitted a proposal for passenger travel to be suspended between Latvia and the UK from December 21 until January 1, which was duly approved by the cabinet and confirmed by Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš who said the decision was taken to protect the public from the new strain of the virus. The measure comes into effect from midnight tonight and technically also includes sea and land passenger services to and from the UK.
Šovakar valdība, balstoties uz @Sat_Min ierosinājumu, nolēma no 21.12. līdz 01.01. pārtraukt starptautiskos pasažieru pārvadājumus caur lidostām, ostām, kā arī ar autobusiem no/uz ??. Lēmums pieņemts, lai pasargātu sabiedrību no jauna #COVID19 paveida plašākas izplatības.— Krišjānis Kariņš (@krisjaniskarins) December 20, 2020