China has announced that International travellers landing in Beijing will be quarantined for 14 days at their own expense. The Chinese capital announced on Sunday, as governments around the world introduced new restrictions. Above all to contain a coronavirus pandemic that started in Wuhan China.
From Monday, everybody entering Beijing from outside the country will be transferred to a central isolation facility for 14 days of observation. Chen Bei, deputy secretary general of the Beijing municipal government, said, as the country scrambles to prevent more imported cases.
“Some people were asymptomatic when they arrived in Beijing but were confirmed [with the coronavirus] several days later when symptoms showed,” the Beijing News quoted Chen as saying.
State broadcaster CCTV reported: “From now on, all inbound flights will stop at the T3-D processing area at Beijing Capital International Airport for … screening and scientific treatment.”
Quarantine costs also not specified
health department staff at the facility would monitor the health of the passengers. The passengers will have to pay for the quarantine, Chinese media reported. Without specifying the cost.
Passengers would be punished for not disclosing information or for making false statements.
The order overrides a rule that was set to come into effect on Wednesday in which international travellers would have to isolate themselves for 14 days.
Under the new measures, self-isolation will be granted only under special circumstances, SCMP reports.
As cases in China continued to fall on Sunday, the country reported 16 new imported cases of the coronavirus. Five of them in Beijing, taking the total to 111, the National Health Department said. The fresh imported cases accounted for the bulk of the 20 new confirmed infections throughout the country.
In all, 3,199 people have died in China from Covid-19 Wuhan virus. The disease caused by the coronavirus, with more than 80,000 infected.
Quarantines also being applied worldwide
In Beijing, 49-year-old mother Liu Ye said she was worried about her daughter who was studying at a university in Birmingham. Liu said she was considering chartering a flight with other parents to fly their children back from Britain.
“I don’t care whether the quarantine is at home or a central facility, I’m worried about whether we can get a flight, and persuade my daughter to come back. She thinks things are OK there,” she said.
Liu said it cost about 2 million yuan (9 million baht) to charter a 60-seat plane, costing each passenger about 35,000 yuan. Zheng Zining, a 30-year-old writer based in Shenzhen, cancelled his flight back to Shanghai from New Zealand on Sunday. Especially when he heard about Beijing’s quarantine measures.
Zheng has been in New Zealand for two months and said he was concerned that rules would be applied nationwide.
“My plans are always being changed. I miss my hometown in Jiangsu. But I’m lucky compared to others stranded here because I’m also New Zealand citizen.”
Beijing’s announcement came a day after New Zealand said that almost everybody entering the country – including returning citizens – must isolate themselves for 14 days.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said exemptions would be granted to people from small Pacific islands with no confirmed virus cases. “I make no apologies. This is an unprecedented time,” Ardern said. Above all describing the new rules as the strictest in the world.
No transiting in Singapore
In Australia, incoming passengers would be subjected to similar restrictions. They also face hefty fines if they did not follow the new rules, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday. Furthermore that the new requirements would apply from midnight.
“All people coming to Australia will be also required to self isolate for 14 days,” Morrison said in Sydney.
Singapore is also barring travellers from stopping or transiting in Singapore if they have been to France, Germany, Italy or Spain in the last 14 days.
Singapore residents and long-term pass holders who have been to those countries in that time will issued a stay-home notice. Even more ordering them to remain at their residence at all times for 14 days after returning to Singapore.
Songkran Holiday Postponed, Venues and Schools to Close
The Thai government plans to postpone the Songkran holiday this year to control the spread of the Wuhan virus as Thailand recorded 33 new coronavirus cases on Monday. Above all bringing the total tally to 147, a health official said.
Shortly before the new tally was announced, the Thai government said it plans to temporarily close venues that attract crowds of more than 50 people. It will also postpone the traditional Songkran New Year holiday. The postponement also comes as part of efforts to prevent a widespread outbreak of the Wuhan virus.
Universities will be shut and courses moved online, Ratchada Thanadirek, a government spokesperson, said. The holiday will no longer fall on April 13 to April 15. Consequently new dates have yet to be announced.