China’s ‘Catch Me If You Can’ rule hits the roads with its first public test
In a move that could help curb China’s growing car shortage, authorities have banned all non-essential travel in and out of China, except for those traveling on special permits.
While the restrictions are aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases, they also appear to be aimed at keeping citizens safe.
“The first phase of this ban is intended to control the spread and prevent the spread the infection and the transmission of disease,” Xinhua news agency reported.
“We’re also trying to prevent the introduction of the virus through transportation,” the news agency said.
“For the second phase, we’re trying to reduce the number of people traveling in large numbers and reduce the numbers of people staying in the cities and cities not connected to the airport,” it said.
Officials in the city of Cancun, the capital of the Philippines, told the state-run Xinhua that they would not issue the permits, even if they were needed, because they had to meet a requirement to conduct the tests.
The move follows similar ones announced in other Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, where authorities banned all travel by air.
While some experts argue that the rules are needed to prevent a repeat of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in China in 2014, other critics argue that it is simply too hard to keep the nation’s population safe from a growing number of infectious disease outbreaks.
The government has announced that it will soon issue more than 400,000 new visas for foreign workers, and is also considering an increase in visas for high-skilled foreign workers.
“If the rules don’t have any positive impact, the government will have to make some tough decisions,” said Hong Yang, an economics professor at Beijing Normal University.