China will reopen its borders to foreigners starting from September 28 after six months of travel suspension, as the country recovers from coronavirus pandemic.
Foreigners with valid residence permits for work, personal matters and family reunion will be allowed to enter China starting from Monday. If the holders’ visa expired after March 28, they can apply for a new visa if the purpose of travel remains unchanged, according to a statement released by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, they would still need to complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, and other regulations limiting incoming visitors such as allowing only one international flight per week per airline are still in force.
On March 28, China essentially closed borders to all foreigners including entry for foreign nationals holding APEC business travel cards.
The easing of travel restrictions will likely benefit foreign wine merchants and export managers who previously obtained a work permit in China.
There are also rumors that the country will further ease travel restrictions in October to allow business travels and entry for APEC visa holders. If true, it will likely benefit wineries and representatives who are eager to enter China to reconnect with their business partners on the mainland and attend wine fairs such as Vinexpo Shanghai in late October, ProWine China and Vinitaly’s Wine to Asia in November.
Life in China seems to have fully returned to normal, as wine tastings and events resumed gradually. China’s second quarter GDP posted a 3.2% growth, while other major economic powerhouses in Europe and North America suffered negative growths due to Covid-19.
Ex-Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRIC in early 2000s said China will be the “most important marginal driver of global GDP” when interviewed by CNBC.
The country’s wine importers, however, still lag behind, as figures from the first seven months of the year showed.