Everything Is Better Now: China Finally Opens Its Gates

China finally opens its borders for the first time in three years. The country barred tourists from entering its country for Covid reasons. But at long last, the country has completely opened it boundaries to foreign guests.

On Monday, March 13, the Chinese Embassy in the United States published a statement in Chinese on its website announcing that the country would resume issuing all categories of visas to foreigners on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

According to the statement, multi-year visa holders who were issued prior to March 28, 2020, when China closed its borders to the majority of foreign visitors in an effort to keep Covid-19 out, would be permitted to use their visas as long as they had not expired.

After Beijing abruptly relaxed its “zero-Covid” policy late last year, Chinese authorities declared a “major and decisive victory” in their handling of the coronavirus outbreak that had swept the nation.

After a year of sluggish growth that was exacerbated by pandemic measures, Beijing is also trying to revive the world’s second-largest economy and its domestic tourist industry with Monday’s announcement.

China recorded 115 million cross-border trips in 2022, significantly less than the 670 million trips that were made in 2019 prior to the pandemic. In 2019, foreigners made 97.7 million of those trips, down from 4.47 million the previous year due to Covid restrictions that restricted entry to residents only.

The statement from the embassy says that cruise ships visiting Shanghai and the southern island of Hainan will once again be able to enter without a visa.

Japan Has Found Over 7,000 Islands In Its Territory

Foreigners traveling from Hong Kong and Macau to the neighboring province of Guangdong and tour groups from ASEAN member states visiting the provinces of Guilin and Guangxi will once again be able to enter without a visa.

In a partial reopening in January 2023, China abolished quarantine for international arrivals, which was met with an outpouring of joy and relief from citizens, including those overseas who had been separated from their loved ones and the hundreds of millions of people who had been confined within the country for the past three years.

In addition, visitors to the nation must still complete their customs health declaration forms with the results of their Covid test 48 hours before departure.

Meanwhile, the US State Department issued an updated advisory on March 10 urging American citizens to reconsider any travel to China, including Hong Kong and Macao, due to the risk of wrongful detention and the “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.”

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