(Reuters) -Britain has no plans to bring back COVID-19 testing for those coming into the country, a government spokesperson said on Thursday, in contrast to a growing list of countries mandating tests for travellers from China.
“There are no plans to re-introduce COVID-19 testing or additional requirements for arrivals into the UK,” the spokesperson said when asked about a Telegraph report which said the government will consider curbs for arrivals from China.
Several countries, including Italy and the United States, have this week announced mandatory testing for travellers from China, where cases are on the rise after Beijing’s decision to lift zero-COVID policies.
The report said officials from the government’s Department for Transport (DfT), Home Office and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) were expected to decide whether Britain should follow other countries in imposing curbs on travellers from China.
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said the government will continue to monitor COVID cases across Britain.
“We will continue to ensure that we have the necessary surveillance in place,” he said.
But when asked specifically about restrictions on those coming from China, he said: “That’s not something we are looking at.”
Britain, which was led by Boris Johnson when the pandemic took hold in 2020, has been criticised for its handling of the public health crisis, having been slow to spot the infections arriving and late with a lockdown compared to other major countries.
(Reporting by Gokul Pisharody in Bengaluru, Muvija M and Alistair Smout in London; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Angus MacSwan)