China to allow return of resident European nationals, embassy says

Beijing, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- China will allow the return of citizens of up to 36 European countries with a valid residence permit in the Asian country, its embassy in Denmark announced Tuesday.

“As the prevention and control of COVID-19 become regular, in order to facilitate exchanges, China now decides that, foreign nationals from the countries listed below who hold valid residence permits, including work permit, permit for family reunion and personal matters, may apply for visas for free at any Chinese embassy or consulate in these countries,” the embassy said in a statement posted on its website.

The list of countries whose citizens residing in China will be allowed to return includes the 27 member states of the European Union, as well as Albania, North Macedonia, Iceland, Bosnia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and the United Kingdom, according to the embassy

Since Mar. 28, China has restricted the arrival of foreigners – including residents – and flights from abroad, resulting in a near-total closure of its borders in response to the global spread of COVID-19.

From that point on, the Chinese government made it mandatory for those wishing to come to China to obtain an invitation letter from local governments, who decide to whom it will be granted by prioritizing those whose work is deemed essential and those travelling for family reunification, which in practice has also meant preventing the return of other “non-essential” workers.

The Chinese embassy also added that anyone returning to the Asian country, where the pandemic appears to be under control despite some outbreaks, must “comply with the epidemic prevention regulations of the local governments.”

Since Jul. 21, it is mandatory for all persons who wish to arrive in the country by air to undergo a nucleic acid test (known as PCR) within five days of embarkation. EFE-EPA


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