China forbids citizens from going abroad for ‘non-essential’ reasons

Authorities in China have imposed a de facto international travel ban barring citizens from traveling abroad for “non-essential” reasons, as the government ramps up efforts to implement its zero-Covid policy, media reported. The Chinese National Immigration Administration said it would tighten its review process on the issuance of travel documents such as passports, and strictly […]
 


China forbids citizens from going abroad for ‘non-essential’ reasons

Authorities in China have imposed a de facto international travel ban barring citizens from traveling abroad for “non-essential” reasons, as the government ramps up efforts to implement its zero-Covid policy, media reported. The Chinese National Immigration Administration said it would tighten its review process on the issuance of travel documents such as passports, and strictly limit dropouts. The administration justified the measures by claiming that it was necessary to “minimize the risk of infection while leaving the country and carrying the virus while entering the country”. CNN reported that travel would be allowed only for “essential” purposes, defined by the administration as the resumption of work, study, business and scientific research, as well as medical care.

According to the announcement, applications for those who need to travel abroad to help fight the pandemic or transport disaster relief resources will be expedited.

 

Officials did not say how they might enforce the new restrictions, or prevent travelers in possession of valid travel documents from leaving.

A popular comment in response to the news on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo read, “Don’t go out unless necessary, don’t take birth unless necessary.”

 

CNN reported that others speculated that officials were cracking down on travel as more people fled due to fears over a new government-imposed lockdown – especially in the capital Beijing, where Covid cases are rising. Huh.