Russia is suspending the entry of Chinese citizens to the country, state-run news agency TASS reports with reference to the secretariat of Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova.
The ban will come into force at 00:00 on February 20, 2020. It will target Chinese citizens intending to enter the territory of the Russian Federation for personal, professional, educational and tourism purposes.
In addition, the Russian authorities will temporarily halt issuing permissions to hire foreign workers and work permits for Chinese citizens who are not in Russia. On February 19, they stopped accepting and registering documents of Chinese nationals wishing to study in Russia or visit the country.
The restrictions will not affect transit passengers.
At the end of 2019, China alerted the World Health Organization to the outbreak of a pneumonia-like disease in the city of Wuhan that has about 11 mln residents. Later, the infecting agent was defined as coronavirus 2019-nCoV, then COVID-2019. At the moment, more than 70,000 persons in China are reported to have caught the infection; over 2,000 have died.
In late January, the Russian authorities reported the identification of two first COVID-2019 cases in the country.