Leyla Fazleeva: “If a Chinese citizen still reaches Tatarstan, we will not expel him”

The ban on entry to Russia for Chinese citizens is coming into effect, but Tatarstan does not expect serious consequences of restrictions

The temporary ban on entry for Chinese citizens came into effect on the territory of Russia due to the threat of the spread of the coronavirus yesterday, on 20 February. What will be the consequences of the ban for the economy of the republic, how it will affect the tourist flow to Tatarstan and who of Chinese citizens had the time and who was late to “get into the last car” going to Russia — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Get to work!

As reported Leyla Fazleeva, the head of the Republican staff on the fight against the coronavirus, Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan, told Realnoe Vremya, right now is the next staff meeting, which involves representatives of the State Committee of Tatarstan on Tourism. In her opinion, the most painful temporary ban on Chinese entry to Russia can hit this sector of the republican economy.

“It is mostly students, athletes, employees of Chinese enterprises in special economic zones and tourists come to us from China," said the head of the “antiviral” headquarters. “All of them come under the supervision of doctors. The number of people under medical supervision is constantly changing. In early February, 13 Chinese employees arrived to work at enterprises located on the territory of the republic: five to Naberezhnye Chelny and eight to Nizhnekamsk. Fourteen days of quarantine are coming to an end for them, no signs of coronavirus have been detected, so in the next few days, all 13 Chinese citizens will start working.

According to Leyla Fazleeva, the ban on Chinese entry to Russia is strict, but not absolute:

“If a Chinese citizen somehow enters Russia after the ban is imposed and reaches Tatarstan, we will not expel him, but place him under supervision — we are ready for such a turn.”

Meanwhile, the Tatarstan ministry of industry and trade told Realnoe Vremya that they do not have statistics on how many Chinese employees have arrived and how many planned to arrive at enterprises in free economic zones. Accordingly, they have not yet made any forecasts as to how much the ban on the entry will affect the economy of the republic.

According to the ministry of internal affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan, from January 1 to February 19, 2020, 514 Chinese citizens who arrived in Russia were initially registered on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan, 31 of them — in the last three days, from February 17 to 19.

The quarantine ends for students, and it hasn't started for sportswomen and traders

According to the anti-coronavirus headquarters, more than a thousand Chinese students are studying in Tatarstan universities, but most of them entered Russia when the threat of the coronavirus was out of the question — everything was calm in Wuhan.

ЭMost of the students did not leave Tatarstan during the winter holidays, only a few went home," says Fazleeva. “Out ff those who left and returned, 37 are now in quarantine under supervision. Most of these students entered Tatarstan between February 5 and 10. the monitoring period is coming to an end, and we hope that they will soon start their studies. Four more people have arrived today, and two of those who arrived earlier are out of supervision.

New “receipts” of Chinese students are not expected at the headquarters yet.

Another potentially dangerous category of visitors from China — athletes — they are not creating the danger of transferring the infection. Now in Tatarstan, Leyla Fazleeva said, six Chinese women are expected to come to the fencing tournament, but since the girls are going to Kazan from France, where they have been for a long time at the training camp, they are not in threatened of being quarantined: if they had been infected with coronavirus before leaving China, they would already be ill.

On the question of Realnoe Vremya whether there is information about the arrival of Chinese traders, whom are many in all clothing markets of the republic, the head of the republican headquarters for the fight against coronavirus replied that Chinese who settled in our markets, in this regard, do not pose any threat at all since they have long and voluntarily become “restricted to travel” from Russia:

“They do not go for the goods themselves, they send it from China, they receive it here.

Thrifty Chinese do not do have decisive influence on travel business

As the press service of the Tatarstan State Committee for Tourism told Realnoe Vremya, the agency does not have operational data on changes in the tourist flow from China to Tatarstan.

“The information on tourists is given quarterly," explained the head of the service Oksana Aganina. “It is not available today. In 2018, 14,648 Chinese tourists visited the country, and in 2019 — 16,884.”

According to President of the Association of Travel Agencies of the Republic of Tatarstan Ramil Miftakhov, the local tourist business will not suffer serious losses, even if there is a certain drop in the already small tourist flow from China to Tatarstan.

“There are no direct charter tourist flights from China to Kazan," he says. “It is mostly transit tourists who come from this country. They do not stay in Tatarstan for a long time, and the volume of their visits against the background of the general tourist flow is insignificant.

The losses of the travel business from the ban on the entry of Chinese citizens will be minimal for another reason: Chinese tourists are so thrifty that you can't earn much from them.

“They stay in Kazan for a day or two, if they are delayed for more than two days, they go to Sviyazhsk, and they practically do not visit other tourist sites," Miftakhov said. “At the same time, they choose inexpensive three-or four-star hotels, eat little... The outflow of Chinese is a serious threat to the tourist business of Moscow and St. Petersburg, but not to Tatarstan.”

By Inna Serova