Singapore to ban Chinese visitors amid coronavirus outbreak

Singapore to ban Chinese visitors amid coronavirus outbreak
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Singapore is banning all Chinese visitors from entering the country as fears surrounding a novel coronavirus continue to mount.

Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to issue such ban, The Associated Press reports.

According to the country's health ministry, Chinese nationals, as well as any foreigner who has visited China in the past two weeks, won't be allowed into Singapore. Singaporeans, permanent residents and Chinese citizens who have long-term passes will be allowed to enter the country, but will be quarantined, the AP reports.

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As of Friday, Singapore has reported a total of 16 cases of the deadly virus.

The move comes as the U.S. State Department has urged Americans not to travel to China amid the outbreak.

The State Department announced Thursday evening that it had elevated its travel advisory to the highest level after the World Health Organization declared the viral outbreak an international public health emergency earlier in the day.

The department warns in the advisory that travelers on commercial carriers may face restrictions with little to no notice, noting that several commercial carriers have limited or suspended travel to and from China.