International flyers arriving in Beijing for first time since March
Beijing’s international airport on Thursday began receiving international flights for the first time since suspending them in March amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Associated Press reported that flights are being allowed in from a limited number of countries deemed to be low-risk for bringing the virus to the city; the United States is not among those allowed to travel to the city.
Passengers from Austria, Canada, Cambodia, Denmark, Greece, Thailand, Pakistan and Sweden will be admitted if they do not show signs of the virus before boarding.
Beijing’s relaxation of travel rules comes as China has gone weeks without a locally transmitted coronavirus infection, according to health authorities, and has seen only a handful imported from other countries. Flights resumed to other cities in China earlier this year, though U.S. officials blamed Chinese authorities for attempting to block U.S. companies from resuming flights.
Authorities have responded to a handful of localized outbreaks of COVID-19 over the past few months with strict travel restrictions and lockdown measures, allowing officials to prevent the virus from spreading.
U.S. officials have blamed China’s early handling of the outbreak for the global spread of the virus, while the U.S. has now become home to more than 6 million confirmed cases and is continuing to report thousands of new positive tests per day.
The Trump administration has also accused China of hiding its true number of confirmed cases and preventing global health experts from learning about the virus in a timely fashion.
Domestic and international air travel has plummeted amid the pandemic, falling 96 percent lower than the same time in 2019.
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