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China Suspends Entry of Foreigners Due to COVID-19

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In light of the recent wave of COVID-19 cases in a number of countries around the world, China has once again decided to place entry restrictions on certain countries. This means that non-Chinese nationals who are currently in or have recently traveled to any of the named countries, are temporarily unable to travel to China. The current list of countries includes:

  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • India
  • Italy
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • Ukraine

Chinese Embassies or Consulates in these countries will not issue Certified Health Declaration Certificates for travelers to China, for the time being. This travel ban does not affect Chinese nationals who are traveling from any of the above mentioned countries to China. Foreign nationals holding valid visas or resident permits will not be permitted entry into China. However, foreign nationals who hold diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas, will not be affected by the entry ban.

China and COVID-19

Since the initial outbreak early in 2020, China had imposed lockdowns in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Despite strong efforts, the virus has spread to more than 200 countries and territories across the world, totaling more than 50 million cases. Due to swift actions by the Chinese government who imposed strict lockdowns, China had managed to contain the virus to just over 90,000, and currently have less than 500 active cases.

China’s previous experience dealing with SARS and MERS greatly contributed to their ability to manage the effects of COVID-19. The swift action from the initial outbreak involved countrywide lockdowns, the suspension of outdoor activities, delay of school openings, suspension of public transport and implementation of nationwide health checks.

While the number of COVID-19 infections increased worldwide, China had decided to suspend all travel from outside countries to Mainland China. This was done in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately prevent a surge in the number of cases.

China and Travel Restrictions

Following many countries around the world experiencing a second wave in late October and early November of 2020, China had decided to implement additional safety measures. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, confirmed that a number of Chinese embassies in certain countries have taken temporary measures to deal with the current wave of the epidemic. In his statement he suggested that these and other embassies will make decisions based on any developments of the epidemic situation and any adjustments will be announced by the relevant authorities in due course.

While many foreign nationals still wish to enter China for purposes of work, study or family, the above mentioned restrictive measures have been implemented in order to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19.

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