China to ease two-month travel lockdown on coronavirus epicenter

China to ease two-month travel lockdown on coronavirus epicenter

Outbound travel restrictions that have been in place since January in China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak, will finally be lifted, the provincial government announced on Tuesday, according to DPA.

“From midnight on 25 March traffic controls on leaving Hubei will be eliminated, with the exception of Wuhan,” an online notice said.

The travel restrictions placed on Wuhan, the city where the outbreak originated in December last year, will be lifted from midnight on April 8, it added.

The number of new cases in Hubei has fallen sharply in recent days.

Last week, it reported three full days without a case of local transmission. On Tuesday, only one new case of coronavirus was reported in Hubei province, according to the latest National Health Commission (NHC) figures. Schools, colleges and universities in the province will remain closed until further notice.

Earlier on Tuesday, Beijing announced strict new measures that will see all overseas arrivals to the city centrally tested and quarantined.   The announcement came as daily figures from the NHC again showed that the rate of locally transmitted infections had slowed, while imported cases emerged as the new threat. China reported 78 new cases of the new coronavirus on Tuesday, 74 of which were imported from abroad, a new daily high. The largest proportion of the new imported cases, 31, arrived in Beijing.

Since December, 81,171 people have been infected with the virus across China, of whom 3,277 have died and 73,159 have recovered.