China blocks travellers from virus-hit UK

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Mainland China has denied entry to some travellers from Britain, where more people have died from COVID-19 than anywhere else in Europe.

The partial border closure comes as new coronavirus cases flare 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.

The decision follows England entering a monthlong 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 is a partial reversal of an easing on September 28, when China allowed all foreigners with valid residence permits to enter.

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

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

From November 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 virus.

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

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