Chinedu Eze with agency report
China has barred non-Chinese travellers from the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Philippines, imposing new border restrictions in response to the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.
The Guardian of London reported that the Chinese embassy in the UK said recently that China’s borders are 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.
Last 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 crewmembers of international flights, trains or other vessels.
Beijing, which has for months largely contained the outbreak and seen the Chinese economy begin to recover, also imposed new rules on those who are allowed in.
As of last Friday, all passengers from the US, Germany, the Czech Republic and France must have tested negative for the Covid-19 virus as well as for antibodies within 48 hours of travelling.
Passengers from Denmark are subject to the rule from November 7, while starting from November 8, those travelling from Australia, Singapore and Japan would be subject to the same rule.
Officials have said that the antibody test was to guard against false negatives in nucleic acid tests. A negative test for the antibody immunoglobulin M, or IgM, the body’s first response to the virus, would indicate that a person has never been exposed or that they have been infected and recovered.