Oh, how the tables have turned.
From last December to January 2020, almost every country in the world was afraid of Chinese tourists.
No, not because they’re big and scary, but because of the deadly coronavirus that might have originated in Wuhan, China, which has now infected over 81,000 people in the country and 531,943 people worldwide.
But things are looking very different for China right now, as they have pretty much overcome the peak of their Covid-19 outbreak, and things are slowly returning back to normal for them.
In fact, China tourists are ready to start travelling overseas in April 2020.
China Bans Foreigners From Entering The Country
Although China is starting to lift travel restrictions on its own citizens, they have banned foreigners with valid visas and residence permits from entering the country.
Because of the coronavirus.
After working so hard to finally get rid of it from their country, I’m sure they wouldn’t want to leave any door open for it to squeeze itself back in and start another outbreak of cases in China.
They will be heavily restricting international flights, and almost totally shutting down its borders for the time being.
This ban will be effective from Saturday, 28 Mar, 12am.
So who can still enter China during the ban?
Only those with diplomatic, service, courtesy, or C visas will be allowed into China. All other foreign nationals holding any type of visa or residence permit will be denied entry.
To Reduce The Number Of Imported Cases
Although it is a drastic measure, it is necessary to ensure that more cases of Covid-19 are not brought into China.
“The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in the light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries,” said China’s foreign ministry in a statement on 26 Mar, when they made the announcement.
China’s civil aviation authority has also said that foreign airlines will only be allowed to operate one route per week from Sunday onwards.
All domestic airlines are also restricted to flying to only one country no more than once a week.
The decision to implement this ban was made after China faced a surge of imported cases of Covid-19 in the past few days.
It has not reported any locally transmitted cases in the past two days, but its number of inbound infections has increased to 541.
China’s Vice-Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui said on 26 Mar that around 90 per cent of these were Chinese nationals.
Chinese Students Returning Home
Right now, a lot of Chinese students who are studying overseas are keen to return home, due to the increase in the outbreak of Covid-19 cases around the world.
However, Mr Luo advised them to stay where they are right now instead.
“We understand some students abroad are anxious to come home,” he said.
“But under the current circumstances, by staying put, they can avoid being cross-infected in the rush to come home or risk being stuck mid-way should the countries they transit tighten border controls.”
55 new cases were reported in mainland China yesterday, with 54 of them being imported, according to Global Times. There were no new confirmed or suspected cases in Hubei province, where the outbreak first started.
The lockdown in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, which began back in January this year, will be eased by 8 Apr 2020.