In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits still valid to the time of the announcement, effective from 0:00 a.m. March 28, 2020. The Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council convened a press conference on the afternoon of March 30, and introduced the update on the law-based prevention of imported COVID-19 cases. Liu Haitao, Director-general of the Department of Frontier Defense and Inspection Administration of National Immigration Administration, attended the conference and responded to related questions.

China’s current domestic situation of the COVID-19 epidemic is stabilized and continues to take a favorable turn. But recently China also sees a surge in imported COVID-19 cases, which has exceeded 700 cases. For the purpose of preventing COVID-19 from spreading through imported cases, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Immigration Administration jointly made an announcement to temporarily suspend the entry of foreign nationals. The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries.

To effectively protect the health of both domestic and foreign nationals, and prevent the epidemic from spreading through entry and exit, all of us should take the responsibility to reduce recent entry-exit travels of low priority.

According to the statement, 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, according to the statement. However, entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected, said the statement.

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 statement said, adding that entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after the announcement will not be affected. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly by National Immigration Administration and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Source: iSuzhou Wechat account