China bans non-Chinese arrivals from UK as England enters lockdown

China bans non-Chinese arrivals from UK as England enters lockdown

People from Belgium and Philippines are also barred in ‘temporary measure taken in response to the pandemic’

China has barred non-Chinese travellers from the UK, Belgium and the Philippines, imposing new border restrictions in response to the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chinese embassy in the UK said on Wednesday that China’s borders were now closed to those arriving from the UK, including those with valid visas and residence permits. The measure, a reversal of recently loosened restrictions, comes as England began a month-long lockdown in an effort to stop a resurgent outbreak. The country has the highest death toll in Europe of almost 48,000 deaths.

“This is a temporary measure taken by China in response to the current pandemic,” the Chinese embassy in the UK said.

The embassy in Belgium also released a statement announcing restrictions for nationals traveling from Belgium, which has the highest per capita number of cases in Europe. On Thursday, the embassy in the Philippines, which has among the largest number of cases in south-east Asia, followed suit.

The notices said the new restrictions would not affect those with diplomatic, official or courtesy visas or crew members of international flights, trains or other vessels.