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China Sets New Restrictions on Foreign Nationals in Coronavirus Fight

Returnees from the Hubei Province leave from the West Train Station to board buses in Beijing on March 26, 2020.

China says it will temporarily ban foreign nationals with visas or residence permits from entering country beginning at midnight on Saturday, in its latest attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that China initiated the restrictions “in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries.”

China insisted it will keep communications open with other countries and properly handle personnel exchanges under the special circumstances.

The government in Beijing said holders of diplomatic visas are exempt from the temporary suspension of foreigners from entering the country.

In January, China banned all travel in and out of all cities in Hubei province, including Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered.