Chinese Embassy in Singapore to lift Covid-19 visa suspensions on Wednesday

One of China's main tourist attractions, the Forbidden City in Beijing, looks set to enjoy a boom again. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE – The Chinese Embassy in Singapore will resume issuing all types of visas to foreigners from Wednesday, after nearly three years of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

These include visas for tourism and medical treatment, according to a notice posted on the embassy’s website late on Monday.

Those with visas issued before March 28, 2020, that are still valid will be allowed entry into China.

The updated policy will also allow for the resumption of visa-free travel to Hainan island and for tourists arriving in cruise ships to Shanghai.

Travellers from Hong Kong and Macau will be allowed visa-free entry to the southern manufacturing hub of Guangdong, while tourist groups from the Asean regional grouping can enter Guilin in Guangxi without a visa.

In March 2020, China suspended issuing visas to foreigners.

The 15-day, visa-free facility for Singaporeans travelling to China was also suspended, but it has not been resumed.

The Chinese authorities ended the regime of mass testing, lockdowns and long quarantines in December 2022.

At the time, Beijing kept in place visa restrictions on foreigners, but said inbound travellers to the country would no longer need to undergo quarantine from Jan 8.

Meanwhile, travel agencies in Singapore are gearing up for more travellers following the announcement.

A spokesman for CTC Travel said the agency has received a surge in inquiries for tours to China since the start of the year.

“We have been receiving overwhelming response on our tours,” she said. “We are monitoring any further announcements on the details and will liaise with our counterparts to ensure timely updates.”

Chan Brothers Travel marketing communications executive Samantha Tan said the firm has seen a “steady flow of interest” in China from customers.

“China is one of the destinations in the limelight, with some customers eager to leverage our early-bird deals to get the best departure dates,” she added.

“We will be planning to take advantage of the opportunity to launch more tours if the conditions are favourable.”

A WTS Travel spokesman said the agency is anticipating demand from customers who have been waiting for the lifting of travel restrictions in China.

“We do expect an increase in Singapore travellers signing up for our tours, and we will increase our offerings according to the loosening of restrictions,” he added.

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