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China blocks travellers from coronavirus-hit Britain in partial closure of borders

China blocks travellers from coronavirus-hit Britain in partial closure of borders

A passenger wearing a face mask arrives at the check-in counters at Gatwick Airport amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the United Kingdom on Jun 15, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Peter Cziborra)

BEIJING: China denied entry to some travellers from Britain, where more people have died from COVID-19 than anywhere else in Europe, in a partial closure of its borders this week again as new coronavirus cases flared around the world.

Because of the pandemic, China has temporarily suspended entry of non-Chinese nationals living in the United Kingdom even if they hold valid visas and residence permits, the Chinese embassy in Britain said on Wednesday (Nov 4).

The rejection of non-Chinese travellers from Britain came as England entered a month-long lockdown starting on Thursday after new coronavirus cases exceeded 20,000 a day and its COVID-19 death toll eclipsed all other countries in Europe.

The suspension was a partial reversal of an easing on Sep 28, when China allowed all foreigners with valid residence permits to enter.

In March, China had banned entry of foreigners in response to the epidemic.

READ: UK lawmakers approve month-long COVID-19 lockdown plan for England

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Mainland China has also started to tighten some of the most stringent requirements in the world on inbound travellers arriving from other foreign destinations.

Starting on Nov 6, all passengers from the United States, France and Germany bound for mainland China must take both a nucleic acid test and a blood test for antibodies against the coronavirus.

The tests must be done no more than 48 hours before boarding.

Similar requirements were imposed on travellers from countries such as Australia, Singapore and Japan, effective Nov 8.

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Source: Reuters/kg


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