Concerned over the resurgence of Covid-19, China has slammed the door firmly shut on travellers from a number of countries including India and the UK.
The ban applies to those already holding a valid visa or residence permits.
It also issued bans for non-Chinese nationals coming from Belgium and the Philippines.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals in India holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits. The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in India will not stamp the Health Declaration Forms for the holders of the above-mentioned categories of visa or residence permits,” it said in an announcement.
Similar announcements were made for the UK, Belgium and the Philippines.
India has the second highest number of cases, and officials have voiced concerns about the standard of lab testing in India.
Indian airlines have received temporary bans on at least half a dozen occasions in China or Hong Kong due to passengers arriving with negative Covid test results which turned out to be positive cases.
The UK has recorded nearly 48,000 deaths and more than one million cases, while Belgium has the highest number of cases per capita worldwide.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ban is a ‘temporary measure’ for all the countries.
“China has referred to the practices of many countries and adjusted its approach to relevant people coming to China based on changes in the pandemic situation. This is reasonable and consistent with international practice, and I believe people can understand it,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.