Russia halts Chinese visa-free tourism, work visas over virus - GulfToday

Russia halts Chinese visa-free tourism, work visas over virus

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People wearing protective facemasks walk in a city commuter train station in Bangkok. File photo/AFP

Russia's government on Saturday halted visa-free Tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them with work visas over the deadly the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

An order posted on the government website said the measures were to "ensure the safety of the country, protect public health and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus".

The order, dated Friday, said that the FSB security service, which is in charge of border guards, should halt visa-free Tourism from midnight Saturday.

Chinese tour groups visiting Russia have been eligible for visa-free travel since 2000.

The government order also said that the interior ministry should stop issuing invitations for Chinese people to work in Russia and the foreign ministry should stop issuing work visas.

Russia said Friday that two Chinese citizens had tested positive for the new coronavirus in the country's first cases since the deadly outbreak emerged in China, and announced new travel restrictions.

The government said the foreign ministry inform China that the measures were "due to exceptional circumstances and only temporary".

Russia on Thursday said it would stop issuing electronic visas to Chinese nationals, which can be used to cross into the country in parts of the far East and western Russia.


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