Imported Novel Coronavirus: China Closes its Border to Foreigners Amid Fears

China is closing its border to foreigners amid fears of imported novel coronavirus cases causing a second outbreak in the country — despite Beijing repeatedly criticizing other governments for taking similar measures.

China is closing its border to foreigners amid fears of imported novel coronavirus cases causing a second outbreak in the country where the infection was first detected.

In a statement late Thursday, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “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” as of March 28.

Anyone wishing to enter the country will have to apply for a visa at their local Chinese embassy or consulate. The announcement did not say how long this would take.

The decision to effectively seal off the country is the latest in a series of moves intended to safeguard against infection from international travel, after more than 500 imported cases of the coronavirus were confirmed.