China Bolsters Tourism Efforts: Eases Visa Rules and Lifts COVID-19 Testing Requirements


In a move that could profoundly enhance travel between India and China, the Chinese Embassy in India has announced interim changes to its visa regulations effective until December 31, 2023. 

According to a Times of India post, the notification shows these adjustments:

  • Indian travelers applying for visas for tourism, business, transit, or short-term family visits will not be mandated to provide biometric data.
  • Primarily benefiting those below 14 and above 70, the rule change skips the fingerprinting procedure, streamlining the visa application process.
  • All Indian travelers are advised to contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in New Delhi for up-to-date information.
  • Although the visa process has been made more accessible, the standard application prerequisites, including passport requirements and documentation, remain in place.
  • Visa costs continue to range from INR 3,800 to INR 7,800, based on the type and duration of the visa.

China Repeals Mandatory Pre-Entry COVID-19 Testing

According to a China Briefing report, to further boost its tourism sector and normalize travel protocols, China has rescinded all pre-entry COVID-19 testing for incoming travelers, effective August 30, 2023.

ALSO READ:  The $1.3 Trillion Conundrum: The Evolving Landscape of Return-to-Office

Key Highlights:

  • Foreign travelers must no longer undergo COVID-19 nucleic acid or antigen tests.
  • This landmark decision is expected to enhance inbound tourism and restore normalcy to China’s travel industry.

Backdrop: Challenges in China’s Travel Sector

The report noted that while domestic destinations like Beijing’s Forbidden City witnessed high local footfall in 2023, international tourists remained a rarity.

Despite initiatives like expanding international flights, foreign tourism still needed to regain its pre-pandemic momentum. Reasons cited for this include:

  • Persistent safety apprehensions deterred international travelers.
  • An April survey highlighted various concerns, ranging from health risks to visa complications, influencing 58% of potential Chinese travelers to reconsider international trips in 2023.

However, with China’s economy recovering, domestic travel increased significantly. 

A projected RMB5 trillion (US$700 billion) in travel-associated revenue was expected, and destinations beyond metropolises grew in popularity.

Strategic Steps Towards Tourism Revival

China decided to do away with pre-entry testing after they restarted visa applications, including visa-free policies, earlier in March 2023. This aims to spark interest in China as a prime travel destination.

ALSO READ:  Uber Makes Airport Travel Hassle-Free With New Updates

COVID-19 Precautions for Travelers in China

The report noted that although travel restrictions are easing:

  1. Tourists should follow health guidelines such as hand hygiene, optional mask usage in public, and avoiding crowded areas.
  2. Certain settings, like nursing homes and medical institutions, still mandate mask-wearing.
  3. For those who test positive for COVID-19, mask usage remains obligatory.

This dual strategy, relaxing visa norms for Indian travelers while eliminating pre-entry testing requirements, underscores China’s commitment to reenergizing its travel industry and deepening international relations while focusing on health and safety.

 As the world watches, these initiatives could set a new precedent in post-pandemic travel.


Being Digital Nomad provides verified information and reporting on digital nomad visas, remote jobs, destinations, and resources. Subscribe to the newsletter for more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


The Nomad Weekly Newsletter

Your weekly roundup of digital nomad news, visa information, destination tips and resources.

Recent Posts

Surge in Digital Nomad Economy Opens Lucrative Doors for Entrepreneurs

Key TakeawaysJohannes Voelkner's Nomad Cruise, a mobile conference for...

Athens Emerges as a Top City for Remote Workers

Key TakeawaysAthens ranks 17th worldwide for remote work accessibility.The...

Vietnam Cities Soar as Top Picks for Digital Nomads

Key TakeawaysVietnam's Da Nang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh...