China has simplified its visa policy for foreigners who have received China-produced COVID-19 vaccines to apply to enter the Chinese mainland via Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Philippines.
The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the HKSAR issued a notice on Friday exempting foreign visa applicants who have received a Chinese vaccine from providing health certification.
The Chinese embassy in the Philippines also released a notice later on Monday announcing the easing of China's visa policy for foreigners in the Philippines.
In view of resuming people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries in an orderly manner, starting from Monday, the office will provide facilitation for visa applicants who have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines produced in China and obtained vaccination certificates, read the statements.
According to the new visa policy, foreign nationals and their family members traveling to the Chinese mainland to resume work and production in various fields need only provide the documents required before the COVID-19 pandemic when applying for a visa.
The scope of applicants eligible for applying for a visa out of emergent humanitarian needs will also be expanded; holders of valid Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business travel cards will also undergo an easier process to apply for a visa, according to the notices.
However, the requirements are unchanged for all Chinese and foreign passengers flying directly to the Chinese mainland. They have to take a nucleic acid test and serum IgM anti-body test and apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified Health Declaration Form (HDF) before boarding, according to the statement issued by the Chinese embassy in Philippines.
So far, China has donated or is donating COVID-19 vaccines to 69 developing countries in urgent need, and is exporting vaccines to 43 countries. More than 60 countries have authorized the use of Chinese vaccines, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference on March 10.