NICOLA Sturgeon has called for Boris Johnson to extend the Brexit transition period, saying it was "imperative" after the discovery of a faster-spreading coronavirus mutation led to much of Europe closing the door on the UK.

At an emergency meeting this morning, it’s likely that the European Council will ban all flights, ferries and trains from Britain.

Eleven European countries including Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany and Sweden have all introduced 48 hour travel bans.

On Sunday night, France closed borders with the UK, with all travellers and freight blocked from entering the EU. 

That led to the Port of Dover being closed to all traffic, leading to fears of shortages in the coming days. Typically between 9000 and 10,000 lorries a day use the port in both directions.

That closure is having a massive impact on exports from Scotland. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus chaos as countries line up to ban travellers from the UK

Last night Loch Fyne Seafarms, based in Tarbert, tweeted: “This is a disaster, trucks loaded with hundreds of thousands of pounds heading to Dover right now. What the hell are we meant to do?”

Brendan O’Hara, the SNP MP for Argyll & Bute, responded: “This news is absolutely devastating for Argyll & Bute’s time-critical shellfish exporters. The impact of this closure on businesses trying to make a living in already economically fragile rural areas cannot be overstated.”

Freight from France is allowed to enter Britain but there are concerns that many hauliers will be reluctant to make the crossing if they will get stuck.

French Transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari has since said that a protocol would be adopted at a European Union-wide level "to ensure that movement from the UK can resume".

With just 10 days until the Brexit transition period ends, and with no deal yet agreed, the First Minister called for Boris Johnson to act, rather than compound the coronavirus chaos with the knock on effects of a hard Brexit.

Sturgeon tweeted: “It’s now imperative that PM seeks an agreement to extend the Brexit transition period. The new Covid strain — and the various implications of it — means we face a profoundly serious situation, and it demands our 100 per cent attention. It would be unconscionable to compound it with Brexit.”

However, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross insisted a delay was unnecessary. 

He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “We’re very close to a deal and I think we should work as the two sides are doing over the next few days, to try and get that deal secured. A deal that works for the United Kingdom and the European Union. And if we are close to that deal then we should just get over the line.”

Johnson will chair a Cobra meeting, with the Scottish Government expected to take part. 

There were a record 35,928 new Covid-19 cases reported in the UK yesterday, up 52% in a week. There were 326 deaths, up 10% in a week. 

In Scotland, 934 new cases were reported, up from 572 on Saturday.

The new strain was first detected in Kent and is thought likely to have spread to other countries.

Seventeen cases of the new strain have been identified in Scotland, 16 of which were in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region.

Over the weekend, UK health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new variant of the virus is "getting out of control".