China has announced that it will reopen its borders to tourists and resume issuing all types of visas after a three-year pause due to the pandemic.
The announcement came on Tuesday after China declared a “decisive victory” over Covid-19 in February.
Starting from Wednesday, all types of visas will resume, and visa-free entry will be allowed to destinations such as Hainan Island and for cruise ships entering Shanghai that had no visa requirement before the pandemic.
Visa-free entry will also resume for foreigners from Hong Kong and Macao to enter Guangdong in southern China, and foreigners holding visas issued before March 28, 2020, that are still valid will be allowed to enter China.
It is unclear whether vaccination certificates or negative Covid-19 tests will be required as the announcement did not specify this information.
The move is intended to “further facilitate the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel,” according to a notice posted on the websites of various Chinese missions and embassies.
China had previously pursued a harsh “zero-Covid” strategy involving sudden lockdowns and daily Covid-19 testing to try to stop the virus before abandoning most aspects of the policy in December amid growing opposition.
The resumption of visa services and the reopening of borders is expected to boost tourism and business travel.