Will China open for tourists from January 8, 2023?

Western and Russian media are discussing the news about the “opening of China's borders” from January 8, 2023. What is known at the moment and should specialists in outbound and inbound tourism, as well as ordinary tourists who miss the Chinese destination, rejoice? Let's say right away that there are important points that require official clarification.

On December 26, Western and Russian media began to publish materials containing information about the opening of China's borders for foreigners from January 8. In fact, all these messages originate from a broadcast on China's state television channel – CCTV. The text of the program in a free transcription of one of the publics of the Chinese social network QQ can be read here.

Before analyzing it, let's add: as of the evening of December 26, there are no messages on this topic either on the website of the State Council of China, or on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, or on the websites of the PRC embassies, or on the website of the Xinhua state news agency. Probably, official documents will appear later.

What follows from the Chinese TV show and the texts based on it? So far, we can draw conclusions about the following:

  • From January 8, China will quarantine measures at the entrance to foreigners, as covid no longer belongs to the “especially dangerous diseases category” A” (who demanded such a quarantine).
  • According to the text, “in accordance with the Border Health and Quarantine Law, quarantine measures and measures to combat infectious diseases will not be applied to incoming personnel and goods.” As you can see, we are talking about personnel (vehicles) and transportation of goods.
  • To enter the country for this personnelyou will only need a PCR test for covid, made no earlier than 48 hours before boarding a flight to China. “Those who test negative can come to China without applying for a health code at our embassy or consulate abroad, and fill out the result on the border health declaration card.”
  • “Testing when entering China and centralized isolation for all staff after entry will be lifted. Those who have a completed health declaration and no abnormal health at the checkpoint may be allowed to enter the PRC.” It's also about personnel (vehicles, operating personnel, etc.).
  • “Measures to control the number of passengers on international passenger flights and restrictions on passenger load factor will be abolished. All airlines will continue to prevent the epidemic on board, and passengers must wear masks when boarding“.
  • “In the future, conditions will be optimized for foreign citizens, arriving in China for purposes such as the resumption of work and production, business, education, family visits, reunification of relatives, etc., by ensuring the issuance of appropriate visas.” As you can see, tourism is not mentioned in this paragraph. Is it “etc.” may include tourism, but it looks strange.
  • “The entry and exit of passengers at sea and land checkpoints will be resumed not immediately, but gradually, in several stages“.
  • “The departure of Chinese citizens outside of China will be resumed “according to the established procedure” as the international epidemic situation and various insurance options allow“.


The fact remains: from the amount of information that is available at the time of the evening of December 26, it is extremely difficult to draw conclusions about the opening of China's borders from January 8 for tourists. Tourism (entry to the PRC for the purpose of tourism and recreation) is actually not mentioned in the source anywhere. On the contrary, all sorts of non-tourist purposes of entry.

There is even more clarity about the departure of the Chinese abroad – the resumption of departure is firmly promised, but without an exact date and with reference to the international situation.< /p>

Conclusion: we should wait for official documents and publications from the Chinese side – at least at the level of Xinhua news. Only they will make it possible to make forecasts about the resumption of tourism in China – both inbound and outbound.

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