Has China Opened Its Borders To Tourists?



  • China closed its borders to nearly all travelers
  • China has reported 108,413 cases and 4,849 deaths as of September 30, 2021
  • All travelers must present two negative tests

A CNN article talks about the travel restrictions in China during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Travelling to China

China closed its borders to nearly all travelers in March 2020, when the pandemic started spreading throughout Europe.

On March 15, 2021, restrictions were eased for a select number of travelers from 23 countries. Those coming for work or for humanitarian reasons can apply for visas, as can holders of the APEC Business Travel Card. Residents may also return. All categories, however, must have been vaccinated with Chinese-made vaccines at least 15 days earlier.

China already has a Fast Lane agreement with Singapore, allowing business travelers. Business travelers from South Korea are also allowed in.

“Return2HK” program

The “Return2HK” program will kick off on September 15. Under this program, 2,000 eligible people from Macao and the Chinese mainland will be able to enter Hong Kong per day without quarantining.

Half will be permitted to enter via the Shenzhen Bay port and the other half via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port. Proof of a negative Covid test will still be required.

Advantages of being vaccinated

Despite rumours that the country would only grant travel visas to people who had gotten the China-created Sinovac vaccine, the Chinese embassy in the United States confirmed on April 20 that travelers with confirmed history of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines would also be eligible.

What are the restrictions?

All travelers must present two negative tests (PCR and antibody tests) taken within 48 hours of travel.

For the newly qualified entrants, entry depends on having received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines at least 14 days prior to entry. They must apply for a visa in advance, and show their proof of vaccination on arrival, as well as the negative tests.

Arrivals are screened once more at the airport. Those failing the checks will be sent to government facilities. Then, you must then quarantine on arrival. This might take place at a government facility or at your home.

The COVID situation in China

The Covid-19 pandemic started in China’s Hubei province, but early and strict lockdowns mean the country has got it under control. 

China has reported 108,413 cases and 4,849 deaths as of September 30, 2021. About 73% of the population is fully vaccinated.

According to the National Health Commission, China now has at least four high-risk areas and 154 medium areas, with different forms of epidemic control such as quarantine and travel restrictions implemented.

Yunnan and Xishuangbanna provinces

Yunnan Province has experienced an uptick in cases, bringing the highest single-day increase in new cases since January. The likely reason is an influx of locals returning from Myanmar, which borders the province, in order to escape from civil unrest. Many of the cases are being diagnosed as the Delta variant.

As of July 2021, Yunnan and Xishuangbanna provinces are subject to heightened controls, including multiple vehicle checkpoints and special permits required to enter cities like Ruili and Puer.


Ningbo, the world’s third busiest container port, closed one terminal on August 11 after a freight worker tested positive and reopened on the 27th.

Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

In China’s Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a border crossing with Vietnam’s Lang Son Province closed on August 17 so that local authorities could review its Covid-19 protocols. Several other China-Vietnam border crossings, including those with Cao Bang and Lao Cai states, remain open.

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Source: CNN



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