Why diverting intl flights bound for Beijing to designated first points of entry?

CIKD | Updated: 2020-04-12 09:35

It is important to note that the information provided in this Series is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

An ambulance takes passengers who had fevers on a London-Beijing flight to hospital in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on March 29. WU YUNSHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

As the capital of China, Beijing has become a key battlefield for the prevention of imported cases after the COVID-19 outbreak was largely controlled in Hubei. As of March 19, Beijing Capital International Airport, the most important international aviation hub in China, still has 205 international flights per week, connecting 33 countries including the United States, South Korea, France, Germany, and Spain. Therefore, Beijing Capital International Airport faces high risks of imported cases.

In order to diversify risks, reduce pressure of quarantine and treatment, and maintain normal economic and social order in Beijing, Chinese ministries including the Civil Aviation Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Health Commission, the General Administration of Customs and the National Immigration Administration, with the approval of the State Council, jointly issued the Notice on Diverting International Flights Bound for Beijing to Designated First Points of Entry into China (No 1) on March 19. This measure is conducive to strictly preventing imported cases, to protecting the life and health of passengers, and to improving the efficiency of customs clearance while preventing epidemic.

An airport to be selected as a first point of entry should meet three criteria. First, it should be an international airport, being able to receive foreign flights and having custom clearance conditions. Second, it should meet the requirements of safe operation regulations in support capacity, such as being able to support category E aircraft and having good sound operation record. Third, it should have major domestic airline companies or sales departments in place. Airlines can choose the first point of entry based on direction of the route.

Meanwhile, it is also made clear in the Notice that timely adjustment will be made to the designated first points of entry for international flights bound for Beijing and other relevant measures based on the epidemic development.

Author: Hua Ruoyun,Center for International Knowledge on Development

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