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After three years of restrictions, China set to reopen borders to foreigners


China’s foreign ministry announced Wednesday that it will once more begin issuing a variety of visas to foreign nationals, marking a significant easing of travel restrictions in place since the Covid-19 pandemic’s emergence.

The move marks the latest step towards reopening China to the outside world, as Beijing breaks with the strict zero-Covid strategy that defined its pandemic response until a few months ago.

According to a notice posted Tuesday on a social media account affiliated with the foreign ministry’s consular affairs bureau, in addition to new visas being reviewed and approved, those issued before March 28, 2020, that remain valid will once again allow entry to China.

Similar notices appeared on the websites of several overseas Chinese missions, including its embassies in the United States and France.

The updated policy will also allow for the resumption of visa-free travel for those arriving on cruise ships to Shanghai as well as for certain tourist groups from Hong Kong, Macau and countries within the ASEAN regional grouping, the notice said.

It added that the move would “further facilitate the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel”.

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