After three years of restrictions, China has now lifted its border restrictions and opened its doors to tourists.

Starting March 15, 2023, China’s foreign embassies will once again begin issuing different categories of visas to foreign nationals.

From March 15, 2023, China will completely lift its pandemic-related restrictions and welcome tourists back into the country after a gap of three years.

The Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry in Beijing announced that from Wednesday, China’s overseas embassies will resume issuing visas of various categories to foreigners.

According to a notice by the National Immigration Administration, foreign nationals with valid visas issued before March 28, 2020, will be permitted to enter China. The notice stated that the Administration has decided to adjust its visa and entry policies from March 15, 2023, to better align COVID-19 prevention and control measures with economic and social development and facilitate international exchanges. The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi also confirmed in a notice on Tuesday that it will resume issuing various types of visas starting from Wednesday, and Chinese visas issued before March 28, 2020, that are still valid will be reactivated.

Last year, Beijing initiated the admission of small groups of foreign students into the country. Many foreign students, including thousands of medical students from India, were forced to halt their education for over two years and saw their graduation plans disrupted.

China abandoned its “zero-COVID” policy at the beginning of December 2022 and, from January 8, 2023, started welcoming families for reunions while eliminating the compulsory quarantine for international arrivals.

The Chinese government reclassified COVID-19 as a Class B infectious disease, thereby disallowing lockdowns and quarantine measures. Consequently, the government discontinued these measures, allowing for a more relaxed policy towards COVID-19 management.

The abrupt lifting of restrictions in December caught Chinese hospitals off guard, resulting in a shortage of medicines, a surge of COVID-19 cases across the country, and lengthy waiting periods at crematoria for the elderly who passed away in large numbers for several weeks.

Leave a Comment