Entry or exit without permission and in violation of quarantine requirements shall be handled according to law
（Press Conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council）
Guest: Liu Haitao, director general of the Department of Frontier Inspection and Management, National Immigration Administration
Venue: Beijing Rui'an Hotel
Date: March 23, 2020
China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry of foreign nationals holding valid visas or residence permits, effective from 0 o’clock, March 28, according to an announcement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Immigration Administration (NIA) on March 26. What are the considerations for the measure? What impact will the adjustment bring to the China-bound foreigners, and how can they enter China for essential purposes?
Currently, the domestic epidemic situation has been further stabilized in China, while the number of imported cases is on the rise, amounting to over 700 cases. In order to effectively prevent and control imported cases, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NIA jointly released the announcement, imposing restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. It is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the practices of other countries.
Under the current epidemic situation, it is responsible and essential to refrain from unnecessary and non-urgent exits and entries, which will effectively protect the life and health of all Chinese and foreigners, including those restricted from entering China, help curb the spread of the epidemic via exit and entry channels and maintain public health and security around the world.
The temporary entry suspension mainly applies to foreign nationals holding valid visas and residence permits or APEC business travel cards. A number of other policies will also be temporarily suspended, including port visas, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policy, Hainan 30-day visa-free policies, 15-day visa-free policies for foreign cruise-group-tour through Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free policy for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong and Macao, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free policy for foreign tour groups from ASEAN countries.
Entry with diplomatic visa, visa for public affairs, courtesy visa or C visa (mainly for crew of cross-border transport vehicles) will not be affected.
Foreign nationals may re-apply for visas at Chinese embassies and consulates if they need to enter China for essential purposes including economic, trade, scientific or technological activities, cooperation and exchange on epidemic prevention and control, or for humanitarian emergency. NIA, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will determine the visa and entry policies in accordance with the epidemic situation. Any adjustments to the relevant policies will be announced by NIA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a timely manner.
Beijing's frontier inspection authority previously denied entry of four foreign nationals who violated the quarantine policy. How will NIA handle such exit-entry cases without permission and in violation of quarantine rules?
In the course of epidemic prevention and control, NIA works hard to put in place a closed-loop epidemic management and control system that integrates the links from transportation, port inspection and quarantine, sharing of dynamic tracking information of personnel locations, to destination delivery and community-based prevention and control. The implementation of quarantine at designated sites for people entering from abroad is an important part of the management system.
For outbound mainland residents, frontier inspection officers will check their latest entry records. For those having an entry record within 14 days, the cases shall be transferred to competent local authorities and treated accordingly by law. For foreign travelers to China who are found to have violated regulations and left China without permission during quarantine, the cases shall be transferred to relevant competent authorities and treated accordingly by law. Those committed such violations shall be prohibited from re-entering China within a certain period in the future.
We hereby remind both outbound and inbound travelers to voluntarily follow requirements of the designated quarantine after entry. It is illegal to violate requirements of the designated quarantine or exit or enter China without permission, and such cases identified by immigration frontier inspection authority will be transferred to relevant competent authorities for further treatment according to law.
Recently, immigration frontier inspection authority has reported cases of Chinese mainland residents leaving or entering China for tourism, visits, or other non-essential reasons to countries in a severe epidemic situation, which increases the risk of infection. We hereby advise travelers to delay or cancel outbound trips for non-essential reasons, and pay high attention to the epidemic prevention and control for the benefits of their safety and health.