Hong Kong’s top snooker player Marco Fu Ka-chun will not compete at this year’s World Championship after revealing he feels unsafe about travelling to the UK to compete at the snooker showpiece. Fu tweeted on Thursday that he had pulled out of the July 31-August 16 tournament. After dropping out of the world’s top 16 players, Fu would have been required to travel to the UK early to participate in the July 21-28 qualifying event at the English Institute for Sport in Sheffield. The UK’s current lockdown measures mean anyone who enters the country from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days. The £2.4 million (HK$23.2 million) World Championship was rescheduled from its original April 18-May 4 slot on the World Snooker calendar amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Feeling unsafe to travel to the UK at this moment, so sadly l've decided to pull out of this year's World Championship — Marco Fu (@Marcofu18) June 18, 2020 The UK is currently among the worst coronavirus-affected countries in Europe with a reported 300,500 cases so far. Despite the country beginning the early phases of a return to normal in recent weeks, authorities there reported a further 135 Covid 19-related deaths on Thursday. So far there have been 42,288 deaths in the UK. Hong Kong-based Fu hasn’t competed on the tour since an opening round defeat to China’s Ding Junhui at the Welsh Open back in February. Fu became the first high-profile player to withdraw from this year’s behind-closed-doors World Championship, despite the safety measures that chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) Jason Ferguson discussed earlier this week. “We are working closely with the government ... on how we can make these processes of quarantine work and we’re waiting on the next stage of reopening as well,” Ferguson said. Marco Fu admits fears for his future in snooker after laser surgery to fix vision in left eye “Whether or not we get huge crowds, the idea is to make sure that the World Championship is a true World Championship, that can be contested at the highest level with all the players who have earned the right to be there.” Snooker was among the first sports to return to action in the UK. The Championship League continued earlier this month in Milton Keynes with no spectators in attendance. The 42-year-old Fu has fallen to No 50 in the world rankings as he continues a comeback following a fallow couple of years. He took time away from the game after undergoing laser surgery in December 2017 because of retinal degeneration and myodesopsia in his left eye. Fu has reached the semi-finals of the World Championship twice during his illustrious career and is a three-time ranking event winner. Earlier this month, Chinese ace Ding withdrew from the upcoming Tour Championship citing concerns about “extensive travel”. “Ding has decided that as a safety precaution he prefers to avoid extensive travel and remain in China at this stage,” a World Snooker statement read. Beijing’s China Open is the traditional precursor to the World Championship, but was abandoned this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.