China Suspends Flights to and From UK Due to New COVID-19 Strain

The decision was announced "after much consideration" by a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson during a daily briefing with reporters on Thursday.


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China is suspending direct flights to and from the UK in response to a new COVID-19 strain.

The move was announced at a daily briefing with reporters, per Reuters, with a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson stating the country had arrived at this decision after following the example of others.

"After much consideration, China has decided to take reference from other countries and suspend flights to and from UK," spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, adding that the country will continue to "closely monitor" developments and adjust safety measures accordingly.

The report notes there are currently eight weekly flights between mainland China and the UK, including one each from Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines. British Airways, meanwhile, runs two weekly flights between London and Shanghai. Countries who previously barred UK travel in response to the strain include India, Argentina, Turkey, and more.

The EU recently announced the adoption of a new recommendation on what they called a "coordinated approach" to travel and transport concerns amid the ongoing pandemic.

"Given the current uncertainties and in light of the precautionary principle, Member States should take coordinated action to discourage non-essential travel between the UK and the EU," Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said in a press release earlier this week. "At the same time, blanket travel bans should not prevent thousands of EU and UK citizens from returning to their homes."

Here in the States, several heartbreaking milestones have been reached in recent days, including California becoming the first state to surpass two million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

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