In what comes as a major move towards reopening its borders, China is set to resume issuing all types of visas to foreigners. This comes after the country recently started to ease its stringent COVID-19 prevention measures and now aims to join other countries in reopening its borders fully.
The shift will begin on March 15, writes Bloomberg. Additionally, the country will allow visa-free entry into the Guangdong province for groups from Hong Kong and Macau, as well as for those on cruise ships stopping in Shanghai, the China Embassy’s statement in the USA adds.
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What China resuming visa for all foreigners means for you
In December 2022, China abruptly scrapped its COVID-Zero policy, which involved frequent lockdowns, mass testing, and closed borders. It was done after protests broke across multiple cities in the country and to re-energies a slowing economy, according to Bloomberg. Thus, the border reopening for tourists comes as a relief for travellers who want to visit China, especially for leisure, since business travellers have been able to apply for the visa since January this year.
In 2022, only 115.7 million inbound and outbound trips were made in China, which is one-fifth of the number the nation achieved in 2019 (before the pandemic hit), reports state. Not just that, mainland residents made 64.6 million trips last year, which is also about one-fifth of the pre-COVID numbers.
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To add to travellers’ delight, China also relaxed its COVID-19 test requirements for visitors from New Zealand, Russia and Malaysia this month. However, people from some other countries, such as the USA, are still required to submit a negative COVID-19 test before they board their flight to China.
For more information on acquiring a visa to China, visit here
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