As the pandemic appears to have eased in the Middle Kingdom, many are wondering when China will reopen its borders to nonnationals. China has closed its borders to most foreigners with certain exemptions since March 28.
In late April, the Wall Street Journal reported that China had “approached a number of countries to discuss the possibility of easing border controls to allow some business travel to resume, part of broader efforts to restart economic activity stalled by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang addressed WSJ’s report in a press conference and affirmed that the country is indeed in talks with South Korea and Singapore for essential travel for business and tech-related purposes.
China and South Korea have had two meetings thus far, and have come to the consensus of an establishment of a ‘fast-track’ entry system. The system will first be applicable to 10 Chinese provinces and cities. South Korean travelers may apply for a visa once applications from their companies and health screenings are approved. They will be quarantined for a shorter period of time than the current standard of 14 days in China. For Chinese nationals who wish to ‘fast track’ into South Korea, the conditions are similar, however they are exempted from quarantine if they pass the necessary health checks.
South Korea has only had 13 reported cases in the past three days, all of them being international arrivals. More than 90% of imported cases are returning citizens. The total death toll stands at 255, a relatively low count in comparison to its total population.
[Cover image via Unsplash]