China will suspend regular passenger flights to and from the United Kingdom to prevent the spread of a new variant of novel coronavirus, the country’s civil aviation authority said on Sunday.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China has told domestic and international airlines to suspend flights between China and the UK from Monday to Jan 10 after the UK recently reported a new and more infectious strain of the virus.
The administration said airlines should arrange refunds for passengers affected by the suspension of flights.
On Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin had said China would suspend flights between China and the UK.
Given the exceptional nature of the new virus variant and its potential impact, China made the decision after a full assessment to safeguard people’s health and people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries, Wang said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.
“China has taken reference of the practices of other countries,” he said, adding that China will closely follow the situation and make adjustments in due course.
Earlier, countries such as Germany, Canada and France suspended flights to and from the UK to prevent the spread of the virus.
London announced a lockdown before Christmas for the same reason.