The Chinese government has decided to simplify visa requirements for foreigners who enter the Chinese mainland via Hong Kong if they receive COVID-19 vaccines produced by China such as by exempting them from providing a negative PCR test result.
According to the Chinese state-run media Global Times on Sunday, the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong announced a new policy on its website on Friday where a negative PCR test result as well as health and travel certificates will not be required for any visa applicants who got two doses of the China-made vaccine or who got their first jab 14 days prior to the application.
Under the current policy, foreigners are required to provide a negative PCR test result that was issued within 72 hours before their arrival. The simplified application process will also be applied to those who apply for a visa for reasons such as visiting relatives or attending a funeral. The new process will be put in place on Monday.
“China has simplified the visa policy for foreigners applying to enter the Chinese mainland via Hong Kong who have received China-produced COVID-19 vaccines, which experts said shows the authorities' confidence in the efficacy and safety of the vaccines,” said Global Times. Many experts say, however, that streamlining visas is aimed at providing its vaccines more widely, considering that there are many people who wish to enter the Chinese mainland.
Meanwhile, only three percent of the Chinese population were inoculated as of late February due to a lack of public confidence in the vaccine, raising doubts about the impact of the new policy.
Ki-Yong Kim email@example.com