- China extends border restrictions for one more year
- Western vaccines are still not approved for use in China, despite WHO approval
- Inbound travelers from countries with high vaccination rates possible
- Uncertainty remains on the potential return of international students to China
China will extend border closures for one more year as part of the country’s ongoing efforts of curbing the spread of new coronavirus variants originating from different countries. Despite the successful rollout of vaccines to citizens, with more than one billion doses given, China will not relax its borders yet.
The push for the border restriction extension stems from two significant events in the country— the upcoming Winter Olympics and the Chinese Communist Party power transition.
Restricting new visas to those who have only received Chinese vaccines and being strict with the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival lowers the risk of having imported cases. Only Hong Kong and Macau are the administrative regions permitted to facilitate travels to the mainland.
Consideration for Countries with High-Vaccination Rates
China will also relax requirements to countries with high vaccination rates and have an effective COVID-19 case control. China is yet to have any Western vaccines listed by the World Health Organization (WHO), but Beijing is planning to include Germany’s BioNTech SE this coming July 2021. WHO-approved vaccines include AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BionTech, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.
This update from China has sparked uncertainty for its international students as to when they can return and continue their studies. Previously, students have used the hashtag #TakeUsBackToChina to seek support from universities and authorities that have yet to provide plans for their return to the country.
Although, China has earlier agreed to let students from South Korea enter the country as they comprise a considerable percentage of the international student population.
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