China reopens borders to foreigners after three years of restrictions

China says it will resume issuing visas to foreign tourists since closing its borders at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago.

The announcement comes after the country said it had defeated the virus and is in the last stage of ending its three-year zero-COVID policy.

In December 2022, China’s immigration authority said the country would scrap quarantine for inbound travellers from January 8.

The announcement stirred up concerns as the Asian country was facing a surge in COVID cases although government officials accused the media of “hyping up” the situation.

As a result, countries around the world tightened protocol for travellers arriving from China.

On Tuesday, Ji Rong, an official in China’s ministry of foreign affairs, said the country would resume issuing all categories of visas for foreigners from March 15.

Unexpired visas obtained before March 28, 2020 – the date China closed its borders  – would also be valid.

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