China bans entry of non-citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic

Starting at midnight on March 28, 2020, China will temporary suspend entry by foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Policies including port visas, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policy, Hainan 30-day visa-free policy, 15-day visa-free policy specified for foreign cruise-group-tour through Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong or Macao, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries will also be temporarily suspended.

Entry by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards will be suspended as well.

Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected. Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected.

“The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries”, an announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.

Though China has reported fewer new cases in recent days, the country got more “imported cases” after relaxing travel constraints.

Mainland China on Friday reported its first local coronavirus case in three days and 54 new imported cases, as Beijing ordered airlines to sharply cut international flights, for fear travelers could reignite the coronavirus outbreak.

The 55 new cases detected on Thursday were down from 67 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said on Friday, taking the tally of infections to 81,340. China’s death toll stood at 3,292 as of Thursday, up by five from a day earlier.

The central province of Hubei, with a population of about 60 million, reported no new cases on Thursday, a day after lifting a lockdown and reopening its borders as the epidemic eased there.

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