China to relax visa and entry policies – ET TravelWorld

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Foreigners with valid visas issued before March 28, 2020 will be allowed to enter China, as the country is adjusting its visa and entry policies to facilitate travel across the border, the National Immigration Administration announced..Visa-free policies will be resumed for entry to the Southern island province of Hainan and cruise tour groups at Shanghai ports, the Administration said.

On Wednesday, China will reopen its borders to foreign tourists for the first time since the Covid pandemic broke out three years ago. Foreign offices can process applications for Chinese visas, the BBC reported.

Visa-free entry to the southern province of Guangdong will be restored for tour groups of foreigners from Hong Kong and Macao, and a similar mechanism will be reinstated for tour groups from ASEAN countries to enter Guilin in the Southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.


The restrictions were put in place December 28 and took effect January 5 amid a surge in infections in China after the nation sharply eased pandemic restrictions and as US health officials expressed concerns that their Chinese counterparts were not being truthful to the world about the true number of infections and deaths.

The news of easing restrictions comes after Beijing declared victory over the virus. The removal of the last cross-border restrictions imposed to tackle Covid marks a major step towards the resumption of normal life in post-pandemic China, the BBC reported.

Tens of millions of international visitors came to China each year prior to the pandemic, and its tourism industry has been hard hit by strict anti-Covid measures.

According to analysts, China can expect a significant increase in international arrivals after it reopens its borders. Chinese citizens will also be allowed to travel on tour groups to 60 countries, up from 20 previously. The zero-Covid policy that was lifted in December sparked rare protests against Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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