In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, China has suspended the entry of all foreign visitors to the country, including for those who have visas or residence permits.
Entry by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards will be temporarily banned as well.
The Chinese government took this extreme precautionary measure in the wake of reports that most of the new cases of infection were reported among people who came from abroad recently.
The ban is also applicable to port visas, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit, Hainan 30-day visa-free transit, 15-day visa-free transit for foreign cruise-group-tour through Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free transit for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong or Macao, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free transit for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries.
The number of Chinese and foreign airlines services have been restricted to one flight per week. These flights are not supposed to carry more than 75 percent of their seating capacity.
The entry ban will come into effect on Saturday.
Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected, Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Foreign nationals coming to China for economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or 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, according to the notification.
New cases are rarely being reported in China, the epicenter of COVID-19, until Thursday.
And only one of the 55 new cases reported in China on Thursday was locally transmitted.
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