Experience The Magic Of China Once Again: Border Restrictions Lifted For Tourists- After three years of pandemic-related restrictions, China is completely reopening its borders to international travelers, including tourists.
The Chinese Embassy in the United States announced the nation would resume granting all kinds of visitor visas on Wednesday in a statement posted on its website on Monday in Chinese.
The statement stated travelers with multi-year visas issued before March 28, 2020, when China closed its borders to the majority of foreign tourists to keep Covid-19 out, would be permitted to use them as long as they had not expired.
This month, Chinese authorities hailed a “big and decisive triumph” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic that had engulfed the nation after Beijing abruptly relaxed its “zero-Covid” policy in the latter part of last year.
The statement on Monday also comes as Beijing works to boost the domestic tourism sector and the world’s second-largest economy after a year of sluggish development made worse by pandemic preparations.
China recorded 115 million cross-border travels in 2022, a significant decline from the 670 million pre-pandemic levels in 2019. In 2019, 97.7 million of those journeys were made by foreigners, down from 4.47 million in 2018, when Covid restrictions effectively barred everyone but residents.
The embassy announced on Monday that visa-free travel to Shanghai and the southern island of Hainan would again be permitted.
Visa-free entry will also be reinstated for tourists from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member nations visiting the provinces of Guilin and Guangxi and foreigners from Hong Kong and Macao to the nearby Guangdong province.
In a partial reopening in January, China lifted the quarantine imposed on foreign arrivals to relieve its people, including the hundreds of millions who had been kept within the country for the previous three years and those who had been separated from their loved ones outside.
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The Covid test must still be completed 48 hours before departure, and the findings must be entered on the traveler’s customs health declaration form.
The US State Department warns American citizens to think twice before traveling to China, particularly Hong Kong and Macao, in an advisory updated on March 10 because of “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” and the possibility of being wrongfully detained.