China will temporarily bar the entry of almost all foreigners and drastically reduce flights to the country, as it tries to head off a second wave of infections caused by travellers coming from abroad.

The ban, which goes into effect at midnight on Friday, comes as the country reported its first locally infected coronavirus infection in three days and reported 54 imported cases. The move was greeted with broad support inside China.

The measure applies to those with valid visas or residence permits and amounts to China shutting its borders, inviting criticism given that Beijing previously condemned other countries for similar moves. The World Health Organization had also advised countries not to shut their borders to Chinese travellers.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration said late on Thursday that 90% of international flights would be suspended. The number of incoming passengers would be cut to 5,000 a day, from 25,000. China has also ordered local airlines to maintain only one route per country, once a week, as…

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China prepares to seal itself off from the world to stem ‘imported’ coronavirus cases | World news
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