Published on : Friday, March 27, 2020
The Republic of China recently issued a new travel ban that restricts all foreign visitors from entering the country. No foreign visitors would now be allowed to enter the country even if they carry visas or residential permits. The decision comes in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus disease that began late December, last year in China itself continues to soar all across the globe.
On Friday, China reported its first official locally-transmitted positive coronavirus case in three days. However, most of China’s recent coronavirus cases seem to come from abroad. On Thursday, 54 out of 55 new cases in China were imported from foreign countries. Therefore, as a strict response to the coronavirus crisis, China decided to establish a new travel ban.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry officially confirmed in a statement that it was suspending the entry of foreign nationals due to the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus across the world. The imported coronavirus cases were mostly found to be Chinese nationals returning back home from abroad.
According to a report issued earlier last week by the Chinese National Immigration Administration, approximately 20,000 foreign travelers were entering the country each day, around 10% of whom were foreign nationals. These foreign travelers entered the country through international flights.
The country will also limit the operations of Chinese and foreign airlines to one flight each week. Those flights have been advised to be less than 75% full. Local airlines have also been ordered to maintain a single route for any country. The restriction will come into force on March 29th 2020.
The latest travel suspension applies to people with visas and residence passes. However, not diplomats or individuals with C visas have been exempted from the foreign travel ban. Individuals having emergency humanitarian needs as well as people working in certain essential fields are also eligible to apply for an exception from the travel ban.
As of now, China has a total of 81,340 confirmed coronavirus cases and around 3,292 deaths. The provincial capital of China, Wuhan – the place where the deadly coronavirus first originated has been undergoing a lockdown since January. The lockdown is expected to be lifted on April 8th 2020. The Hubei province reported no new cases of coronavirus. China now has fewer coronavirus cases that the United States and lesser death toll than Italy and Spain.