Effective January 1st, the entry ban on travel to China was tightened. Previously, tourists could enter China for tourism purposes and shopping without a visa. China’s government decided that tourist influx would be negatively affected by not allowing foreign nationals to enter the country. This resulted in many citizens traveling outside of China to reach their loved ones back home. For these individuals and their loved ones, effective January 1st is a great time to plan a trip back to China.
Traveling to China with no visa restrictions can take some time. If traveling from Europe or the United States, it can take around a month without a visa to get into China. The Chinese government put an entrance ban on all travel to the South-Asian country, starting January 1st, so that it would prevent illegal cross Border tunnels. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it provides benefits to those traveling to China legally. For one, travelers from European and the United States do not have to worry about applying for and waiting for a visa. If they did, their chances of getting one are much higher.
In addition to the no Visa, all flights to and from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan have been halted. This is due to the new Chinese state-Owned airlines that are expected to launch in the next couple of years. All flights from and to these seven cities will now be operated by state-owned airlines.
With the implementation of these new restrictions on travel to China, traveling from the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries to China has become much more difficult. All airlines serving these areas now require passengers to have a Travel visa. While this can seem like quite a hassle, it is still possible to enter the country without one. By obtaining your passport and obtaining an exit stamp, you will be allowed to enter and leave China without any restrictions. Many Chinese citizens who work in the UK or the United States do not need a visa in order to travel to China. This is due to the fact that their work requires them to be in the country for a certain amount of time.
Another area that has implemented an entry ban is South Korea. Ineffective March, the Ministry of Unification announced that all citizens of South Korea travelling to China would need to apply for a Travel visa. As a result, all flights to and from Seoul will now be forced to be operated by KOREA flights. The Ministry of Unification claims that the move is in accordance with the International Air Safety Development Agency, which has levied a similar restriction on airlines in Korea.
One other area that has implemented a travel ban is Hong Kong. On February 1st, the airport in Hong Kong announced that all travellers coming into the city from mainland China within fourteen days would be required to apply for a visa. The reasons given by the airport included the risk posed by travellers who may become unemployed and others that may be involved in illicit transactions. The Hong Kong government later clarified that the new policy was only applicable within Hong Kong.
In an effort to curb the situation, flights to China have been temporarily suspended from many popular destinations around the world. Some of these include visits to Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Taiwan and the UK. Ineffective January holidays have also resulted in a number of cancellations from visitors looking to travel to China. It is hoped that these will resolve as tourism is viewed to be a key driver of the Chinese economy. Meanwhile, all flights from the UK to China have been suspended until further notice.
The recent closures and bans across the Middle East and North Africa are affecting travel to China. An investigation is underway to establish whether the closures and bans were due to terrorist activities or related to the worsening of the Ebola virus that has killed thousands of people. China’s own efforts to stem the problem of internal migrations have also resulted in a number of restrictions being placed on travel to and within the country. These restrictions are in addition to the extensive travel curbs introduced in January. While it is difficult to speculate what exactly causes the recent increases in the numbers of deaths from diseases such as dengue and malaria, the recent announcement of the suspensions of flights to several Middle Eastern countries including Morocco, Egypt, Qatar and Iraq adds weight to the argument that travel to China has become increasingly complicated.