China’s foreign ministry declared on Wednesday that it will resume granting visas to foreigners, relaxing travel limitations imposed since the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the latest step towards reintroducing China to the rest of the world, as Beijing abandons the rigorous zero-Covid stance that characterized its pandemic approach until recently.
As per a notice posted on social media, in addition to new visas being evaluated and accepted, foreign visas granted before 28 March 2020 which are still valid will be permitted to enter China once again.
Numerous Chinese missions abroad, notably embassies in the United States (US) and France, have issued identical statements on their websites.
The amended policy would reinstate visa-free travel for passengers arriving on cruise ships in Shanghai, as well as some tourist parties from Hong Kong, Macau, and ASEAN member nations, as per the notification.
This will further ease the interaction between Chinese and international employees. According to UN World Tourism Organization figures, China attracted 65.7 million international tourists in 2019 before closing itself off during the pandemic.
It is worth noting that Beijing said in late December that inbound tourists would no longer be required to quarantine beginning 8 January, but visa restrictions on foreigners were still in place.
With cases increasing in China around the New Year, however, some nations, including Japan and South Korea, reimposed restrictions on Chinese travelers, prompting Beijing to retaliate. When the cases declined in China, both parties relaxed the limits.
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