200 British travelers flee Swiss ski resort quarantine amid fears of new coronavirus variant

200 British travelers flee Swiss ski resort quarantine amid fears of new coronavirus variant

Hundreds of British tourists forced into quarantine at an upmarket ski resort due to fears about the new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 have fled under the cover of darkness, according to a report.

Around 200 out of an estimated 420 affected UK holidaymakers who were in isolation in Verbier, Switzerland, are thought to have left in the night, rather than remain indoors for more than a week and see their plans to hit the slopes massively disrupted.

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It follows a ruling from Swiss authorities that anyone who arrived in the country from Britain since December 14 had to stay in quarantine for 10 days.

A policewoman and policeman (center) ride a ski lift as they patrol on the slopes and in alpine restaurants specifically, to check the application of sanitary measures during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the alpine resort of Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, Saturday, December 19, 2020. The police receives local support of the "protection civile", civil protection (right), in alpine resort. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

A policewoman and policeman (center) ride a ski lift as they patrol on the slopes and in alpine restaurants specifically, to check the application of sanitary measures during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the alpine resort of Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, Saturday, December 19, 2020. The police receives local support of the “protection civile”, civil protection (right), in alpine resort. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

On December 20, Switzerland announced an entry ban for all travellers from the UK, and suspended all flights between the UK and Switzerland, after the new coronavirus variant was detected in southeast England.

Then, on December 23, the Swiss government brought in an exemption, allowing flights to and from the UK from Christmas Eve to enable residents of the UK and Switzerland to return for the festive period.

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Two cases of the new variant have been detected in Switzerland and one in neighboring Liechtenstein, the Swiss health ministry said on Sunday.

Read more at Sky News.

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