1. China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding valid visas or residence permits due to the rapid global spread of COVID-19, according to an announcement by the Foreign Ministry and the National Immigration Administration on Thursday.
The suspension - starting on Saturday 28 March - is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the practices of other countries.
In addition, entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected, and foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities, or out of emergency humanitarian need, may apply for visas at Chinese Embassies or Consulates.
(Note: C visas are issued to air crew members, railway and maritime staff, and international road transport drivers. Therefore, international drivers will be exempted from the above policy).
Source: the Foreign Ministry, the National Immigration Administration, China Daily
2. Chinese authorities have urged strict measures to prevent the return of a domestic outbreak while controlling the import of new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). The central government have urged local governments to perform their duties in preventing cases, imported or exported through land and waterway transport, and implement measures to suspend cross-border international road transport and enhance management on international waterway transport.
Provincial governments should enforce quarantine measures for those entering the border through land ports in their administration, except for residents living at the border, diplomats, and people engaged in important trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.
To guarantee unimpeded freight transport, measures to control and prevent COVID-19 must be carried out for drivers of freight vehicles. Foreign freight vehicles entering the border should unload at the port, unless the goods cannot be moved midway.
Source: The State Council of the People’s Republic of China
Overview of the situation at land borders for passenger transport operations:
According to a notice published on 20 March by The State Council of The People’s Republic of China, China will suspend cross-border road transportation for passengers and hold back inbound and outbound tourist services as part of a broader effort to curb the importation of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases from 20 March until further notice.
The epidemics control on domestic cases is stabilising in China, but the Government is maintaining stringent measures to avoid cases imported from foreign countries.
Overview of the situation at land borders:
- All borders from China side remain open for now, but Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan borders remain closed on their sides,
- At borders with Kazakhstan, from China side, no compulsory quarantine requirements on non-Chinese truck drivers entering into China, but regular business operations have been severely affected:
1. Alashankou BCP has resumed TIR transport since February, the operations are normal,
2. The auxiliary services in Khorgos have shown signs of re-opening for business. However, due to the control measures applied in Kazakhstan, very few operations are taking place,
3. No operation is reported at Baketu BCP, as non-Chinese drivers are not willing to enter into China due to the control measures applied in Kazakhstan.
- At Erenhot, bordering Mongolia, freight operations are possible, but normal operations have been severely affected. Quarantine measures are compulsory for all those entering into China. Truck drivers are exempted from the quarantine control,
- At Manzhouli, bordering Russia, freight operations are possible, but normal operations have been severely affected. Quarantine measures are compulsory for those entering into China from 34 countries. Russian drivers are exempted from the quarantine control.
Source: Chinese Customs