China Might Reopen Some Border Regions For Foreign Tourists

On Monday, September 19, the Chinese government announced draft requirements aimed at boosting tourism along its borders and making it easier for some foreigners to enter China.

In accordance with the draft policy document made public by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday, tour groups led by companies in border regions will have “flexible” options for their port of entry and exit. No additional information regarding specific locations and dates was provided.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020, China has closed its borders to foreign tourists, only allowing specific categories of foreign citizens to enter the country, such as those possessing valid visas.

To stop the spread of the extremely contagious Omicron variant, the Chinese authorities drastically tightened Covid regulations in recent weeks. Numerous megacities went into full or partial lockdowns in September.

Foreign visitors will be allowed to visit China’s border tourism destinations under the new draft policy, but only in tour groups.

It was not clarified whether individuals will continue to be subject to China’s travel quarantine regulations, which include a one-week hotel quarantine and a three-day observation period at home.

Fourteen countries border China, including Myanmar, Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Laos.

In recent months, restrictions have been gradually lifted, allowing foreign students to enter China with legal residency permits, and more direct flights between China and several countries have resumed. Quarantine for foreign visitors has also been shortened.