China suspends entry by foreign nationals
Passengers wearing face masks stand on a moving walkway at Beijing Capital International Airport as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, March 9, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]
China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding valid visas or residence permits because of the rapid global spread of COVID-19, according to an announcement by the Foreign Ministry and the National Immigration Administration on Thursday.
The suspension -- starting on Saturday Mar 28 -- is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries, the announcement said.
According to the announcement, 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 and 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, the announcement said.
Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected.
China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under the special circumstances, it said, adding that the above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly.