As per the recent announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign nationals are now banned from entering China.
“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 this announcement, effective from 0 a.m., 28 march 2020. 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. 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.
The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries. China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under exceptional circumstances. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly.”
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
What does this mean for foreigners wishing to enter China?
The announcement is relatively unambiguous and means essentially that if you are not currently in China, you will not be allowed entry for the time being, with there very much being no fixed time that the prohibition will end. One can assume it will not be until foreign cases start to curve off; something does not seem to be happening in our immediate future.
What should I do if I am stuck outside of China?
Bunker down, preserve your money as best as possible and wait it out as best as possible.
Of course, no one knows as and when things will start to calm down, but to all our Pioneers out there, keep calm, keep safe, and see you on the other side.