China has announced a travel ban on all foreign nationals, including those holding a work visa or residence permit.
Foreigners holding visas or residence permits still valid to the time of this announcement can not enter China's mainland, effective from March 28, 2020, the ministry said on its website.
Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected.
"The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries", said the Foreign Ministry, adding that the measures would be "calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly".
All domestic airlines were allowed to operate only one flight to each country per week, while foreign aviation companies should keep only one air route to China and there should be no more than one flight every week for each of the air route to China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a circular that will be effective from March 29.
The financial hub of Shanghai reported the most cases with 18, while the number of imported cases in Beijing has declined from a record 31 on Monday to fewer than 10 for the following two days.
Earlier, China's civil aviation regulator issued a circular on Thursday to further cut global flights as part of efforts to stem the inflow of novel COVID-19 cases.
As many as 90 per cent of these are Chinese nationals, said Vice-Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui on Thursday.
In addition to sharply reducing the number of global flights, Beijing is also requiring that airlines strictly implement protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and take stringent prevention and control measures on flights to and from China.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's caseload has reached 453, of which 245 cases were reported in the past week, the local authorities said Thursday.
It's also worth noting that this is something of an ironic twist considering at the start of the outbreak the Chinese government complained about other countries putting restrictions on travelers from China, calling such moves "inappropriate".