China to temporarily ban foreigners from entering to reduce coronavirus

China has announced it will temporarily ban all foreign nationals from entering the nation as it seeks to curb the number of imported COVID-19 cases.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that foreign nationals with residence permits will be prevented from entering the country starting on Saturday.

All visa-free transit policies also will be temporarily suspended.

Diplomatic workers will be exempt, while foreign nationals coming to China for "necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs" can still apply for visas, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"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 said.

As the number of China's reported domestic COVID-19 cases has dwindled, it has had to contend with imported infections from recent overseas arrivals.

These individuals have accounted for the majority of China's new cases for more than a week.

The move comes as China's total tally of confirmed coronavirus cases sits at more than 519,000 people, with 23,588 deaths recorded.

Source: 9News

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