05 Nov 2020: Citing COVID-19, China restricts entry of foreign nationals from India
China has restricted the entry of non-Chinese travelers from India, along with Belgium, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom, citing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
India is the world's second worst-hit country in the pandemic, however, the pace of the outbreak has declined.
While India-China commercial flights had not resumed, China has suspended the special Vande Bharat Mission flights from India.
Restrictions: People with Chinese visas, residence permits barred from entry
Under the restrictions, those with valid Chinese visas or residence permits will no longer be allowed into China.
Those looking to travel to China for emergency or humanitarian reasons can submit an application at the embassy.
Those holding diplomatic, service, courtesy, or crew (C) visas—issued to crew members working on board of international trains, airliners, or vessels—are exempted from the restrictions.
Quote: Suspension a temporary measure, says Chinese Embassy
The Chinese Embassy in India said in a statement, "The suspension is a temporary measurement that China has to adapt to deal with the current pandemic. China will make further adjustments and announcements in accordance with the ongoing pandemic situation."
The statement mentioned, "The entry into China with visas issued after November 3rd, 2020 is not affected."
Outbreak: India reports 83.6 lakh cases, over 1.23 lakh dead
As of Thursday morning, India reported a total of 83,64,086 COVID-19 cases, after witnessing 50,210 new cases in one day—the biggest single-day spike in two weeks, the Health Ministry's data showed.
The total cases include 5,27,962 active infections, while 77,11,809 patients have recovered.
The death toll also rose to 1,24,315 on Thursday, with 704 more fatalities in the past one day.
Other restrictions: New rules for travelers from US, France, Germany, Thailand
Separately, starting Friday, all passengers from the United States, France, Germany, and Thailand bound for mainland China will be required to take a nucleic acid test and a blood test for antibodies against the coronavirus. The test must be conducted under 48 hours before boarding.
China also plans to impose dual-test requirements on travelers from Australia, Singapore, and Japan from November 8.
Fact: China initially restricted entry in March; partially reversed in September
China, where COVID-19 first emerged, had banned the entry of foreigners in response to the coronavirus outbreak back in March. The nation had partially reversed the ban on September 28, allowing all foreigners with valid residence permits to enter.