Nearly three years after China closed its borders to foreign visitors in an attempt to manage Covid-19, China is fully reopening. On March 15, 2023, China began issuing visas in all categories for foreigners. This move comes after China declared victory over the virus in February 2023 and dropped some restrictions in January 2023.
What To Know About Entry Into China
China is opening fully for tourism in an attempt to boost its economy. Areas in China that didn’t require a visa before the pandemic will continue to have visa-free entry. Additionally, if one had an unexpired multi-year visa issued before March 28, 2020, they can still use it.
Further, visitors from Hong Kong and Macau will be able to visit Guangdong visa-free. Hainan and cruise ships moving through the port in Shanghai will also be included in the visa-free entry that was in place before the pandemic.
However, note that travelers to China still have to follow Covid-19 protocols. These protocols include a required coronavirus test 48 hours before departure. Additionally, visitors are required to fill in their test results in their health declaration forms for customs.
Another issue to note comes from the U.S. State Department, which advises American citizens to reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau. Wrongful detentions and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” are the two reasons for the advisory from March 10, 2023.
There is also an ease of restrictions for Chinese citizens. China added 40 countries to its list of countries that tour groups can visit. However, the United States (along with Australia, South Korea and Japan) is still excluded from the list. The total number of countries is now 60.
After three years of closed borders, China is now fully reopening for visitors. However, advisories remain in place as political tensions rise. Additionally, though not as strict, some coronavirus protocols remain in place.
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