China to reissue short-stay visas for South Koreans

Seoul, Feb 15 (EFE).- China will again issue short-term visas for South Koreans, its embassy in the country reported Wednesday, after Beijing stopped granting them in response to restrictions Seoul imposed during the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

The Chinese embassy in South Korea reported through its official WeChat account that it would start issuing these visas again from Feb. 18.

The announcement comes after South Korea began issuing visas to Chinese citizens again this past weekend.

When Beijing announced at the end of the year that it would end its zero-Covid-19 policy, allowing its citizens to travel freely abroad three years later, Seoul activated several restrictions and stopped granting short-stay visas to travelers from China. This was for fear of new coronavirus variants.

Beijing then reciprocated, saying it would “adjust” this measure based on South Korea lifting its “discriminatory restrictions against China.”

Those who travel to South Korea from China will continue to have to present a negative covid test at source for now and undergo another test upon landing and, if positive, keep a mandatory seven-day quarantine.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol asked Tuesday to review this requirement based on “scientific criteria” and taking into account that the worst of the wave of infections in China after the end of the zero-Covid-19 strategy seems to have passed. EFE


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