China has officially reopened its borders to international tourists for the first time since it imposed COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020.
Reuters reports that Mainland China opened sea and land crossings with Hong Kong and ended a requirement for incoming travelers to quarantine.
However, the country will still require proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of traveling. —
China resumed issuing passports and travel visas for mainland residents. Ordinary visas and residence permits for foreigners were also issued.
Tens of thousands of travelers began to fly in and out of mainland China on Sunday.
According to Reuters, investors hope the China reopening will reinvigorate a $17 trillion economy badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also Read: Easing Of China's Zero-Covid Policy Could Be Music To The Ears For Investors
The Wall Street Journal quoted China's Commerce Ministry saying that it had received strong support from foreign executives who were eager to visit China, check on their operations and consider new investments.
On Saturday, China started its 40-day period of Lunar New Year, considered one of the biggest festivals in the world. Before the COVID pandemic, the festival saw the world's largest annual migration, with people returning to their hometowns or taking holidays with family.
Last month, China relaxed some of its COVID-19 restrictions following protests in response to the country's rigorous "zero-COVID" policy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping faced unprecedented opposition as thousands of protestors demonstrated against his "zero-COVID" approach in cities throughout China, with some openly calling for his resignation.
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