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Can international tourists visit China? A complete guide about the country’s reopening

Travelers are starting to look ahead and plan their upcoming trips as the world starts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. There may be some good news in the near future for travelers interested in China. The abolition of several significant COVID-related entrance restrictions, including the need for quarantine for all foreign visitors, has been announced by Chinese officials in recent months. This marks a dramatic turn away from China's strict zero-COVID policy and closing of its borders. It's crucial to highlight that, aside from visits for business or family, China's borders are still mainly restricted to foreign visitors and the country is not yet completely open to foreign tourists.

If you're thinking on visiting China in the near future, you probably have a lot of questions regarding the country's current travel restrictions and what you should know before making travel plans.

Can foreigners currently visit China for pleasure travel?

China is not now welcoming leisure travelers from other countries who want to enjoy the nation's numerous attractions. Apart from business or family trips, borders remain generally closed to foreigners, but the administration has hinted that it plans to loosen restrictions in the future. A timetable for China's reopening to leisure travelers has not been provided.

Government notices state that the priority at this time is to simplify the visa application process for foreign nationals going to China for work, study, family visits, and reunions. If you are an international visitor intending to go to China for one of these reasons, you must apply for a visa and adhere to the necessary policies and procedures.

What are the updated guidelines for visitors to China?

Quarantine is no longer necessary for foreigners traveling in China as of January 8, 2021. Before this date, inbound tourists had to spend their first five days in a hotel quarantine and their first three days at home by themselves. The new regulations only require passengers visiting China to submit to a nucleic acid test 48 hours before to departure. Negative test subjects are no longer required to request a green health code before entering China from Chinese embassies and consulates overseas.

However, upon arriving in China, tourists are required to fill out the findings of their nucleic acid test on their customs health disclosure forms. You won't be allowed to enter the country until your test results come back negative if you test positive for COVID-19. In order to safeguard both you and those around you when traveling to China, it is crucial that you adhere to all necessary health and safety regulations.

Is Chinese tourism important abroad?

Even when borders do open to international tourists, it is unclear how much demand there will be in both the short- and long-term. China was one of the world's leading tourism destinations in 2019, with 65.7 million arrivals, and the Chinese government has increasingly recognized the importance of inbound travel. As it attempts to restore and extend the market and create new sites and itineraries for foreign visitors, it is likely that the government will devote more resources to promoting inbound travel in the years to come.

The abolition of quarantine requirements is a crucial step toward the reopening of the country's borders as China gradually begins to relax its COVID-related entrance restrictions. Although China has not yet made itself fully accessible to foreign tourists, the government has made it clear that it plans to do so in the future. For the sake of your own safety and the protection of others, it is crucial that anybody traveling to China adhere to all local health and safety regulations and procedures.


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