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Breaking: China bars foreigners to curb imported virus cases
2020-03-30

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China says it is temporarily barring most foreigners from entering the country as it seeks to curb the number of imported coronavirus cases.


The foreign ministry announced late Thursday that even foreign citizens with residence permits will be prevented from entering starting on Saturday. All visa-free transit policies will also be temporarily suspended.


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It said diplomatic workers will be exempt, and foreign citizens coming to China for "necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs" can still apply for visas.


The ministry said in a statement that: "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 coronavirus outbreak originated in China. But as its number of domestic virus cases has dwindled, the country has had to contend with infections brought by people who have recently arrived from overseas. Such infections have accounted for the majority of China's new cases for more than a week.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China National Immigration Administration Announcement on the Temporary Suspension of Entry by Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Visas or Residence Permits


March 26, 2020


In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits still valid to the time of this announcement, effective from 0 a.m., 28 march 2020. Entry by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards will be suspended as well. 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 SAR, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries will also be temporarily suspended. 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. China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under the special circumstances. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China


National Immigration Administration


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