Universities in China are shutting early in advance of the Lunar New Year holiday as outbreaks of COVID-19 in several regions, including the capital Beijing, cause alarm. The latest campus closures and restrictions make it even less likely that foreign students will be able to return, having already lost a year of classes.
The latest outbreaks which began in late December with several registered COVID-19 cases in Beijing and pockets in other provinces, including northeastern Jilin province and Hebei province which borders on Beijing, come ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday when many people are travelling to be with family.
The rise in cases has led to increased monitoring and restrictions on public gatherings, but the central authorities in China want to avoid large-scale shutdowns, leaving it to local governments to decide on measures. Around 11 regions in China are currently under de facto lockdown, according to officials.
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