China to bar entry to all foreigners

27 Mars, 2020, 00:59 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • China announced on March 18 it was revoking the press accreditations of all American journalists in the China bureaus of the New York Times Wall Street Journal and Washington Post which were due to expire at the end of 2020

China has banned foreigners with valid visas and residence permits from entering the country in a drastic move that amounts nearly to a total shutdown of its borders as it also severely restricts global flights.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that foreign nationals with residence permits will be prevented from entering the country starting on Saturday.

Foreigners with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will reportedly not be affected by the policy, as well as those travelling to China for economic, trade, scientific, technological or humanitarian reasons.

China on Thursday reported 67 new cases of coronavirus infection among people arriving from overseas, but no new instances of local transmission for the second day in a row, prompting the country's authorities to effectively ban the entry of all foreigners.

In a statement quoted by Newsweek, the ministry said: "The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries".

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Also, although Hubei province and its capital Wuhan have been reporting zero cases for a while, death toll there continued to rise.

All domestic airlines were allowed to operate only one flight to each country per week, while foreign aviation companies should keep only one air route to China and there should be no more than one flight every week for each of the air route to China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a circular that will be effective from March 29.

While China announced on Wednesday that there were no new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus on its mainland for the sixth time in eight days, imported cases still rose.

After getting its domestic Covid-19 outbreak under control, China's attention has shifted this month to preventing a potential "second wave" of the epidemic from washing over the country via global arrivals at airports.

The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in China's Hubei province, late previous year.

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