Sat | Mar 28, 2020

China temporarily barring foreign nationals to curb imported COVID-19 cases

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2020 | 11:53 AM
Returnees from the Hubei Province leave from the West Train Station to board buses in Beijing on Thursday, March 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING — China is temporarily barring all foreign nationals from entry as it seeks to curb the number of imported COVID-19 cases.

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

All visa-free transit policies also will be temporarily suspended.

Diplomatic workers will be exempt, while foreign nationals coming to China for “necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs” can still apply for visas, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries,” the statement said.

As the number of China’s reported domestic COVID-19 cases has dwindled, it has had to contend with imported infections from recent overseas arrivals.

These individuals have accounted for the majority of China’s new cases for more than a week.

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