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Great Wall of China
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China is reopening its borders to tourists for the first time since 2020

The country has been shut off to international travellers since the start of the Covid pandemic

Beril Naz Hassan
Written by
Beril Naz Hassan

Always dreamt of exploring the rich culture, excellent cuisine, and vibrant history of China? We’ve got some pretty great news for you. This week, after three years of closed borders, international tourists will finally be allowed to visit China again.

Starting on March 15, foreign offices will be allowed to process applications for Chinese visas again. And, cruise ships will be allowed to stop by Shanghai and Hainan Island without a visa. Those who were given visas before China closed its doors on March 28 will be allowed to use any valid visas they have, too.

As for the citizens of China, they will be allowed to travel with tour groups to 60 countries; a big jump from the previously allowed 20. Plus, those travelling from Hong Kong and Macau will be regifted their visa-free privileges. 

Whether you’ll need to do tests or bring a vaccination certificate with you is currently TBD. At the moment, any travellers permitted to enter the country need to show a negative Covid test 48 hours before departure.

The country enforced a strict zero-Covid policy from the very beginning of the pandemic, meaning that tourism in China has long been a no-go. But, after last year’s anti-lockdown protests, many of the country’s Covid policies have been scrapped – and now, the process of opening back up to the world has begun.

While visiting as a tourist hasn’t been on the cards until now, the country scrapped mandatory quarantine for international arrivals in January.

Before the pandemic, China welcomed tens of millions of international visitors every year, with tourism bringing in a significant chunk of money for the country’s economy. Reports claim that China made more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2019 alone. So, if you’re eager to travel to China, you’ll be happy to know your cash will help to revitalise this long shut-off part of the world.

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