China reopens borders to foreign visitors after 3 years

Ready for visitors.

Keyla Supharta | March 15, 2023, 09:43 PM

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China will be reopening its borders to foreign visitors for the first time since the pandemic broke out three years ago by allowing all types of visas to be issued from Wednesday (Mar. 15), Reuters reported.

This removed the last of China's cross-border restrictions imposed to guard against Covid-19.

What's in store for Singapore tourists

A notice posted on the website of China's Embassy in Singapore said:

  • The entry function of visas issued before Mar. 28, 2020 and within the effective period will be resumed.
  • The embassy will resume and review all types of visas for foreigners to China.
  • Port visas will be handled by port visa authorities for legal reasons.

Visa-free entry for the following places will also resume:

  • Hainan province
  • Cruises to Shanghai
  • Guandong province for visitors from Hong Kong and Macao
  • Guilin, Guangxi for Asean tourist groups

Revitalising economy

In reopening the country to foreign visitors, China might be looking into reviving its tourism industry, which had been greatly affected by Covid-19 restrictions.

An analyst speaking to BBC said China can expect a significant increase in foreign tourists as it reopened its borders.

According to Reuters, insiders from the tourist industry do not expect to see a significant boost to the economy in the short run.

But the resumption of visas for tourists shows Beijing's moving towards normalising two-way travel between China and the world.

Decisive victory

China has been slowly loosening its harsh Covid restrictions since last December, starting with scrapping PCR test requirements for most public venues and allowing Covid positive patients to quarantine at home instead of a central facility.

It then announced it would be removing quarantine rules for overseas arrivals starting from Jan. 8 2023.

While China initially saw a surge in Covid cases when it began to loosen its restrictions, just last month, Chinese state-linked media outlet Global Times declared the country's decisive victory over Covid-19.

"The Covid death rate has remained at the lowest level in the world," it reported.

Top image via Ling Tang/Unsplash.