February 10, 2020 / 6:28 AM / 16 days ago

Taiwan to bar entry of many Hong Kong, Macau residents to halt virus

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan expanded its restrictions on visitors from Hong Kong and Macau on Monday to freeze the entry of many residents from the two Chinese-run cities to help control the spread of the new coronavirus.

Taiwan has been gradually stepping up its controls on visitors from both Hong Kong and Macau as well as mainland China. It has already stopped mainland Chinese who live in China from coming and suspended new visa issuance for Hong Kong and Macau residents.

The new rule for Hong Kong and Macau residents will exclude people on business trips or those being transferred by multinational companies, and children and spouses of Taiwanese who have Taiwan resident permits, the Mainland Affairs Council said.

Hong Kong and Macau students studying in Taiwan are also not allowed back onto the island, it added.

Those from Hong Kong and Macau who are allowed into Taiwan will have to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, the council said.

Taiwan has only reported 18 cases of the virus, compared with more than 40,000 in China.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Meg Shen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Kim Coghill

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