Covid-19: China tightens travel restrictions, bans arrivals from France after Britain, India, Belgium and the Philippines

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Beijing on Thursday banned foreign arrivals from France and many other countries, the latest in a growing number of entry bans as China shuts down from a world still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic .

Covid-19 first appeared in central China late last year, but Beijing has largely brought its outbreak under control thanks to strict travel restrictions and strict health measures for anyone entering the country.

In March, as the virus tore the world apart, China closed its borders to all foreign nationals, although it has gradually eased restrictions in recent months.

But in a sharp turn, Chinese embassies in countries like Britain, Belgium, India and the Philippines said this week that Beijing had decided to “temporarily suspend” entries of non-Chinese nationals.

France was the latest to join that list, with a statement on the Chinese embassy’s website dated Thursday saying non-Chinese arrivals would be banned from entering the country.

Chinese embassies in Russia, Italy and Ethiopia have also announced similar measures.

Beijing on Thursday defended the new restrictions as “reasonable and fair” and said they “were inspired by the practices of many countries.”

China also recently tightened requirements for travelers from several other countries, making entry much more difficult and sparking complaints that the tough new rules represent an effective entry ban.

In France, officials hope a new coronavirus lockdown will reduce the growing number of infections, with daily new cases surpassing 40,000 over the past week, while Italy has imposed new strict restrictions on freedom of movement. circulation in four regions.

Russia has recorded a total of nearly 1.7 million infections and more than 29,000 deaths.

(This article was posted from an agency feed with no text changes. Only the title has been changed.)

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