Aug 13, 2020 01:33 PM

China Eases Entry Rules for Citizens of 36 European Countries

What’s New: China has relaxed entry restrictions for some European countries’ citizens with valid residence permits, offering a route back into the country for thousands of people displaced by border closures and cancelled flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Passport holders from 36 European nations, including Germany, France and the U.K., will be allowed to apply for a Chinese visa “free of charge” without an invitation letter, according to a notice (link in German) published Wednesday by the Chinese embassy in Berlin.

The background: As the coronavirus spread worldwide in March, China shut its borders to foreign citizens and even denied entry to those with valid work or residence permits or family living in the country, leaving thousands of people stranded.

Now that more countries have brought their Covid-19 outbreaks under control, China has signaled readiness to reopen some entry channels for Europeans. On Monday, the country’s embassy in Denmark published an English-language version of the above mentioned notice, although its significance was initially unclear.

All travelers returning to China will need to reapply for visas after Beijing voided all travel documents issued prior to the pandemic, AFP reported Thursday.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh ( and editor Marcus Ryder (

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