Mainland to stop foreign arrivals, flights cut - RTHK
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Mainland to stop foreign arrivals, flights cut

2020-03-26 HKT 23:57
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  • The measures will take effect on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry said. File photo: RTHK
    The measures will take effect on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry said. File photo: RTHK
Beijing said on Thursday that it will deny entry to foreigners and drastically cut international flights to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Foreign Ministry said all foreigners will be barred from entering, including those with valid visas and residence permits. But diplomats, air and shipping crew will be exempt from this restriction.

The measures will take effect from Saturday.

Entry by foreign nationals with Apec business cards will also be suspended, as will a number of transit visas and visa-free arrangements.

But the ministry said foreign nationals coming to the mainland for necessary trade, economic, scientific, technological or humanitarian needs could still apply.

It's the latest in a series of measures announced on Thursday that also make it harder for Chinese citizens to travel overseas and return home.

The new restrictions were announced shortly after the mainland's civil aviation authority announced drastic cut in its international flight routes to stop imported virus cases.

Flights out of the mainland will be capped at just one route a week to each country, with international airlines also permitted only one route.

Meanwhile Xinhua news agency reported that Guangdong authorities have said that all arrivals – including those from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan – must now undergo quarantine and testing from 6am on Friday.

The arrivals will be sent to designated locations for 14 days, with expenses paid by the person in quarantine. (Additional reporting from AFP)