Beijing says it will follow other countries in banning flights to and from the UK indefinitely, after the emergence of a new highly-infectious strain of the coronavirus.
The announcement came from foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin who cited the “exceptional nature of the virus mutation” in Britain and its potential impact.
In recent months, there have been eight weekly flights between mainland China and the UK, including two operated by British Airways.
The coronavirus outbreak has been largely brought under control inside China but the authorities have maintained strict quarantine requirements, with passengers arriving from overseas often testing positive for the virus upon arrival.
Wang Wenbin said China would “closely monitor developments” in Britain and adjust its control measures depending on the situation.