France on Sunday halted all travel from Britain for 48 hours from midnight, including journeys “related to goods transport by road, air, sea or rail”.
The ban on everything but unaccompanied freight comes as companies scramble to shift merchandise across the Channel with days to go until Britain leaves the EU trade bloc.
Prime Minister Jean Castex's office said the 48-hour period would offer time to coordinate a joint EU response that would ultimately allow travel from the UK to resume “with compulsory testing on departure”.
Germany halted all air links with the UK from midnight on Sunday, with the ban initially slated to last until December 31, Health Minister Jens Spahn told ARD public television.
Cargo flights will be exempt.
A government source told AFP that Berlin is already “working on measures” to extend the suspension into January, when the end of Britain's post-Brexit transition period means it will no longer be covered by EU rules that enable the flight ban.
On Sunday Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said that he had signed a decree “which blocks flights from Great Britain and prohibits entry into Italy of people who have stayed there during the last 14 days”.
Anyone in Italy who recently travelled from Britain must be tested, the statement added.
The new strain has been found in one person in Italy who recently returned from the UK.
Rest of Europe
Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium banned flights from the UK for 24 hours and Finland barred flights for two weeks
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have halted flights from the UK.
Bulgaria said flights to and from Britain would be suspended from midnight Sunday until January 31.
Romania has banned all flights to and from the UK for two weeks, beginning on Monday afternoon.
Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the country would “temporarily suspend passenger air traffic from the UK for 48 hours”.