China will temporarily suspend entry of foreigners with valid visas and residence permits from March 28, due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement released on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Immigration Administration.
The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries, the statement noted. China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under the special circumstances. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly, it added.
According to the statement, foreigners who come to China to engage in necessary economic, trade, scientific and technological activities and for urgent humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies and consulates abroad.
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 SAR and 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. 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. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected.
Among the 55 new coronavirus cases the Chinese mainland reported on Thursday, 54 were imported cases, bringing the total number of imported cases to 595, according to the National Health Commission on Friday.