Asia Today: Beijing receiving 1st int'l flights since March

People disinfect as a precaution against the coronavirus at a local market in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
People disinfect as a precaution against the coronavirus at a local market in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SEOUL – Beijing’s main international airport on Thursday began receiving international flights again from a limited number of countries considered at low risk of coronavirus infection.

Passengers flying in from Cambodia, Greece, Denmark, Thailand, Pakistan, Austria, Canada and Sweden must have first shown a negative coronavirus test before boarding, city government spokesperson Xu Hejian told reporters.

Passenger arrivals will be limited to roughly 500 per day during a trial period and all will need to undergo additional testing for the virus on arrival, followed by two weeks of quarantine. The first flight under the arrangement, Air China Flight 746, arrived from Pnom Penh, Cambodia, just before 7 a.m.

Beginning in March, all international flights to Beijing had been redirected to a dozen other cities where passengers were tested and processed before being allowed to travel on to the Chinese capital.

China has gone weeks without new cases of local infection and the 11 new cases recorded Thursday were all imported.

Beijing's last local outbreak in July was linked to a wholesale food market, and the city’s customs department announced Wednesday it would test all imported frozen foods, along with other goods arriving from countries considered to be at high risk.

Storage and transportation facilities for imported food would also be disinfected and Beijing customs would work with other cities to ensure the safety of the supply chain.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: