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Travel Restrictions on Chinese from China - 2003-05-15

Several countries are refusing to accept visitors from China because of the SARS outbreak. One-hundred and ten countries that have diplomatic relations with China have placed at least some restrictions on travel. Russia has banned virtually all flights to China and authorities are considering closing the Trans-Siberian rail link. Kazakhstan has virtually sealed its border, while Kyrgyzstan is carrying out strict checks. Turkmenistan says it is evacuating 14 Turkmen students from China as a preventative step, while Uzbekistan has suspended air links. Pakistan has postponed the annual summer opening of its mountainous border with China. The three overland routes connecting Nepal to Tibet are also closed, thwarting the travel plans of thousands of tourists. In Vietnam, the authorities last week bought six thermal-imaging machines to measure body temperatures and are installing two at busy checkpoints along the border with China. Even North Korea has cut one of its few lifelines to the outside world by halting flights to Beijing.