UK to require COVID negative tests for arrivals from China
By Anirudh Saligrama
(Reuters) -The UK said on Friday that passengers arriving in Britain from China will require a negative COVID-19 test after a surge in infections in China.
Starting on Jan. 5, Chinese travellers will need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than two days prior to departure, UK's Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement.
The move comes after doubts over the transparency of official data from Beijing raised concerns about a wave of infections.
Airlines will be required to check all passengers from China for tests, and passengers will not be allowed to board a flight without providing evidence of a negative test result, it added.
The UK joins other countries, including the United States and India, to impose COVID-19 tests for travellers from China. France, South Korea and Spain have also done so.
The Times and The Telegraph on Friday reported that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had weighed in to take the step.
The BBC had earlier reported that the UK government was set to announce the China arrival policy, without providing a specific time.
UK officials had said on Thursday that the government was reviewing whether to impose restrictions on people arriving from China.
Chinese state media on Friday called the imposition of COVID tests by various countries on travellers arriving from China "discriminatory".
China has rejected criticism of its COVID-19 statistics and said it expects mutations to be more infectious but less severe.
(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Gareth Jones and Josie Kao)