While mainland China eases lockdown, restrictions tighten in Hong Kong and Macao

Residents of China’s Hubei province — ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic — received good news today when government officials announced the lockdown they have been living under for the past few months will be lifted on Wednesday.

For those in Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered, those restrictions are set to remain in place until April 8.

The announcement follows news that part of a popular section of China’s Great Wall will be reopened to the public.

Mainland China’s coronavirus cases have slowed to a trickle. On Monday, the country reported the first case in Hubei province in six days. It was among 78 additional cases reported as of the end of day Monday — 74 of them imported.

And while nearly 82,000 people have been infected, 3,277 of whom have died, more than 73,000 have recovered.

But while restrictions may be easing on the mainland, the country and its semiautonomous territories are tightening their borders to stem the number of imported cases.

Beijing: Chinese authorities announced today that all international travelers arriving in Beijing, regardless of their final destinations, will be quarantined and tested for the coronavirus at designated government facilities at their own expense. The procedures will also apply to people arriving in Beijing after entering China through a different port of entry within the past 14 days.

Hong Kong: On Monday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said most non-residents will be banned from entering Hong Kong from midnight Wednesday local time. Non-Hong Kong residents arriving from Macao, Taiwan and mainland China will be allowed to enter the city, under the provision that they have not traveled abroad within the past 14 days. Travelers will also not be allowed to transit through the airport.

The city’s government is also seeking to pass a law banning the sale of alcohol at bars with the aim of enforcing social distancing. Some 8,600 licensed bars, restaurants and private clubs have been asked to voluntarily stop selling alcohol before a law is potentially passed.

The strict new measures come as the number of confirmed infections in the city has almost doubled in the past week, with many of the cases imported from overseas.

Macao: Most non-residents will be banned from entering the territory starting tomorrow, including all foreign nationals. Visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who have not traveled to foreign countries can enter, but they will be required to undergo medical observation for 14 days.

Source: CNN News

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