HONG KONG (AP) – China will reopen its borders to tourists and resume issuing all visas on Wednesday as it tries to revive tourism and its economy after a three-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.
China is one of the last major countries to reopen its borders to tourists. Tuesday’s announcement came after she declared a “decisive victory” over COVID-19 in feb.
All types of visas will resume from Wednesday. Visa-free entry will also resume for destinations such as Hainan Island as well as for cruise ships entering Shanghai that did not have a pre-COVID-19 visa requirement.
Foreigners with visas issued before March 28, 2020, which are still valid, will be allowed to enter China. Visa-free entry will resume for foreigners entering Guangdong in southern China from Hong Kong and Macao. The notice did not specify whether vaccination certificates or negative COVID-19 tests are required, but foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Tuesday that China has “improved remote testing procedures for people coming to China from relevant countries,” allowing the Pre- endogenous antigen test instead of DNA test.
“All of these have been well implemented, and the risks of the epidemic can generally be controlled,” Wang said at a daily briefing.
The move will facilitate the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel, according to the notice posted on the websites of several Chinese missions and embassies.
China has adhered to a harsh “Zero-Covid” strategy that includes sudden lockdowns and daily COVID-19 testing to try to stop the virus before abandoning most aspects of politics. in December amid growing opposition.
Wang said the easing of visa rules comes after China approved overseas group tours for Chinese citizens, which had positive results, and the overall improvement in epidemic conditions.
“China will continue to make better arrangements for the safe, healthy and orderly movement of Chinese and foreign personnel on the basis of scientific assessments and in light of the situation,” he said. “We also hope that all parties will join China in creating favorable conditions for cross-border exchanges.”
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