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China Lifts Visa Ban On Foreigners, Resumes Visa Wednesday, March 15

China will once again start issuing a range of visas to foreigners with effect from Wednesday, the country’s foreign ministry said, in a major easing of travel restrictions in place since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

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, said a notice posted Tuesday on a social media account affiliated with the foreign ministry’s consular affairs bureau.

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.

The move would “further facilitate the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel”, it added.

China will resume issuing visas to tourists and other foreigners, a significant step in the country’s move to rejoin the world and leave its stringent Covid restrictions behind.

The shift comes into force from Wednesday, China’s embassy in the US said in a statement. It will also see visa-free entry into Guangdong province resumed for foreigners in groups from Hong Kong and Macau, and for those on cruise ships stopping in Shanghai.

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