In other words, China will validate all visas that were issued before March 28, 2020 and have not yet expired, and will restart the process of application and validation for new visas. These measures are effective as of Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Canadian citizens can now apply for a tourist visa.
The official announcement from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada can be found here.
In addition to accepting valid tourist visas, China is reintroducing visa-free entry to certain locations, namely the island of Hainan in the south, and the port of Shanghai for cruises.
To give you an idea, there were 65.7 million international visitors in 2019, before the pandemic started.
It will therefore be possible to visit China without having to undergo quarantine. However, one measure is still in place: you will need to show a negative COVID-19 test (PCR ) performed within two days prior to flight departure to enter the country.
Since the very beginning of the pandemic, China has been among the countries with the most severe restrictions, which has greatly affected the country’s economy. The country eventually lifted the majority of its “Zero Covid” policy in December 2022, with the exception of tourist visas, which remained suspended.
In recent months, the only travelers admitted were those who were doing so for business, to study or to visit family.
Let’s remember that just one year ago, China was hosting the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games and had imposed very strict sanitary measures with Olympic “bubble” systems where participants, officials, media and all other people involved could not leave the delimited perimeters of the Olympic zones. No foreign spectators (other than those accredited to the Olympic Games) were able to attend the events in person.
After Hong Kong, China
This news comes just a few weeks after the reopening of Hong Kong to tourists. This city and administrative region of China has gone all out, offering half a million free round-trip flights to entice the public to visit.
Etienne, member of the Milesopedia team, took the opportunity to visit Hong Kong recently. Here are his reviews of the hotels he stayed at:
If China is one of the destinations you dream of visiting, we have prepared a specific guide to Hong Kong, but one that will help you prepare your points strategy to get there for less: