Beijing tightens quarantine rules

All international flights due to arrive in Beijing have been diverted to other 12 airports.
All international flights due to arrive in Beijing have been diverted to other 12 airports.

Beijing has announced strict new measures that will see all overseas arrivals to the city centrally tested and quarantined after a new wave of imported coronavirus cases was reported by health authorities.

From March 25, anyone entering the Chinese capital from overseas will be subject to nucleic testing for COVID-19, the Beijing Daily reported on Tuesday.

New arrivals will also be left to foot the bill for mandatory centralised quarantine and monitoring.

Beijing had announced on Sunday it would redirect all flights scheduled to land at its Capital International Airport to 12 designated airports scattered around the country in a bid to ease the pressure from handling imported cases of the novel coronavirus.

There, passengers will be subject to the health and quarantine processes at the landing airports, with those not exhibiting any symptoms then allowed to reboard the plane for an onward flight to Beijing, where all overseas arrivals were already required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

China reported 78 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday as well as seven new deaths due to the illness, according to the latest figures from the National Health Commission.

Only one of the new cases was reported in Hubei province, where the coronavirus outbreak first began in December last year.

Of the new cases, 74 were imported from abroad, a new daily high that brings the total number of imported cases in China to 427.

The largest proportion of the new imported cases, 31, arrived in Beijing.

Since December, 81,171 people have been infected with the virus across mainland China, of whom 3277 have died and 73,159 have recovered.

Australian Associated Press