- Foreign Policy
A Macdonald's branch in Guangzhou, China that locked out Kenyans and other Africans for fear of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has been temporarily closed.
BBC was first to report that the restaurant was fingered for the notice displayed on its windows indicating that people of African descent were not allowed to access services in its outlet as a health precaution undertaken by locals.
"We have been informed that from now on, black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant," the notice read.
Kenyans.co.ke spoke to a source in the city on Thursday, April 16, who confirmed that indeed Kenyans were among some of the people who were locked out of not only that facility but many others in the city.A print out pasted outside a supermarket in China, April 9, 2020.File
McDonald's indicated that immediately it got wind of the situation, it moved with haste, closed the offending restaurant and launched an investigation.
The fast-food chain also explained that the ban on black people was not their creation and insisted that it stood firm for equality and inclusivity as opposed to dividing people along racial lines.
“Immediately upon learning of an unauthorized communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant,” McDonald's announced.
The restaurant also added that it had conducted “diversity and inclusion” training in the branch to ensure that going forward there would be no repeat of such incidences.
The issue of Kenyans and other Africans being kept out of some places that they previously freely accessed was not limited to restaurants and public places as recently established.
Kenyans.co.ke made contact with Kenyans stuck in Guangzhou on April 9, 2020, who lamented about being kicked out of their houses and barred from accessing basic services due to suspicion that foreigners were behind the spate of new Coronavirus infections in China.
"I don't have food or money. It's not fair. We are not allowed to use public transport, we are not allowed in the supermarkets, we are not allowed to go outside our houses.
"They keep saying that Africans are now the ones with the virus. The police are the ones chasing people around the city. Even if you go to them for help, they say they cannot help," a source informed.
Chinese nationals even went ahead to print notices stating that individuals who had rented houses to people of colour should ensure they are evicted.
The Chinese government has since apologized for the incidents and indicated that it had no quarrels with Africans and other foreigners in the region and treats them as equals.
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