China relaxes border control for foreigners

The change is effective from March 15 and applies to international travellers who have obtained a certificate after receiving the required two shots of Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines.

Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with the Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccine and are looking to resume work no longer need proof of a negative coronavirus test. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN, March 16 (ANA) – In a bid to resume people-to-people exchanges with other countries for work and production on the mainland, China has eased visa application rules for those who have been inoculated with Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines.

According to a notice issued by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foregin Affairs of China in the special administrative region of Hong Kong last week, the change is effective from March 15 and applies to international travellers who have obtained a vaccination certificate after receiving the required two shots.

“Foreign nationals and their family members visiting the mainland of China for resuming work and production in various fields need only to provide the documents required before the Covid-19 pandemic when applying for a visa,” the statement said.

“The scope of applicants eligible for applying for a visa out of emergency humanitarian needs will be expanded as appropriate.”

Business publication China Briefing noted that foreign nationals looking to resume work would no longer need proof of a negative coronavirus test, an invitation letter or an invitation verification notice issued by the foreign affairs office.

Those applying for emergency humanitarian needs visas, including reuniting with family, taking care of the elderly, visiting relatives or attending funerals, are also eligible in the change.

China launched a digital vaccine passport for its citizens last Monday using multi-purpose messaging social media platform WeChat to allow for easier, safer travel .

The app provides nucleic acid and serum IgM antibody test results as well as vaccination records. The health certificate contains an encrypted QR code used for verification along with a public key provided by officials.

– African News Agency (ANA), Edited by Stella Mapenzauswa

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