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China bars entry of overseas ship crew

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China is strengthening control measures for the containment of imported COVID-19 cases, stating that international ship crew are not allowed to come ashore as a matter of principle.

As the crew change crisis continues China has further tightened its regulations on seafarers coming ashore for any reason.

Liu Haitao, an official from China’s National Immigration Administration (NIA), said at the latest press conference held by China’s State Council’s Joint Defense and Joint Control Mechanism response to COVID-19 outbreak status that overseas ship crews are not allowed to land, and the Chinese crew members who have sailed for more than 14 days at sea and are in good health condition are allowed to go ashore. Chinese crew with less than 14 days sailing period need to be quarantined for further observation.

Currently, Chinese border agencies are examining more than 20,000 daily border entries via sea, land and air transport, accounting for over 70% of the country's total daily border entries.

To prevent imported virus transmission from seaports, the NIA also track ships on international routes to prevent illegal entry and stowaways, said Liu.

At the beginning of this month, China’s Ministry of Transport issued notice to strengthen the crew change management onboard ships sailing international routes for further prevention and control of COVID-19 spread.