China announced Friday that it will allow visa-free entry for citizens of five European countries and Malaysia as it tries to encourage more people to visit for business and tourism.
Starting Dec. 1, citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia will be allowed to enter China for up to 15 days without a visa. The trial program will be in effect for one year.
The government has extended the period in which regular passport holders from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the UK can visit the country without applying for a visa from 15 days to 45 days.
Additionally, the duration of e-visas has been extended from 30 days up to three months. E-visas will also now allow for multiple entries into Vietnam, rather than the old arrangement of single-entry e-visas currently in use. Passport holders from 80 countries, including the UK and US, are currently eligible for e-visas.
China will drop quarantine requirements for international arrivals from January 8, 2023 in a major step toward reopening its borders that have shut the country from the rest of the world for nearly three years.
Inbound travelers will only be required to show a negative Covid test result obtained within 48 hours before departure, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in an announcement late on Monday. Currently, they are subject to five days of hotel quarantine and three days of self-isolation at home.
Restrictions on airlines over the number of international flights and passenger capacity will also be removed, according to the announcement.
On November 11, the Chinese government released 20 new COVID-19 prevention and control measures and adjusted the quarantine time for inbound travelers to 5 days of centralized quarantine plus 3 days of home quarantine.
PCR tests will be carried on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th day during centralized quarantine and on the 1st and 3rd day during home quarantine.
Travelers will only be required to perform one nucleic acid test within 48 hours before their flight. Those who test negative shall continue to apply for an HDC-code through the in-charge Chinese embassies and consulates.
China reduced quarantine times for inbound travelers by half, the biggest shift yet in a Covid-19 policy that has left the world’s second-largest economy isolated as it continues to try and eliminate the virus.
Travelers will now only need to spend seven days in a quarantine facility, and then monitor their health at home for a further three days, according to a revised government protocol released Tuesday by China’s National Health Commission. That’s down from 14 days hotel quarantine in many parts of China currently, and as many as 21 days of isolation in the past.
Russia will lift restrictions on crossing the land border from July 15, which was imposed in 2020 after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the country's emergency task force said on Monday. The decision was taken due to the country's improved COVID-19 position.
"Following the results of the crisis center’s discussion, a decision was made to lift the epidemic-related temporary restrictions on crossing the state border of the Russian Federation starting on July 15, 2022," the statement said.
From 1 June 2022, nationals of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain can apply to travel to the UK (for tourism, business, study or medical treatment) for up to 6 months with an electronic visa waiver.
The move will deepen the UK’s partnership with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and enhance diplomatic ties and economic prosperity.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will join other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states with electronic visa waiver status, the Home Office has announced. The move will maintain security and effective border processes ensuring necessary security checks are carried out ahead of travel whilst enabling smooth transit through the UK border for visitors.
An electronic visa waiver allows the holder to travel to the UK without obtaining a visa provided they complete an online waiver for each visit. A small fee will be applied, and it is quicker than applying for a visa as there is no need to provide biometric information (photo and fingerprints), attend a visa application centre or hand in your passport in advance of travel.
Starting April 1st, all fully vaccinated travelers - regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated in Korea or abroad - may enter Korea without quarantine if they submit their proof of vaccination online. Additionally, German nationals already in Korea will be exempt from re-entry permit obligations if they wish to leave temporarily. Please refer to the below for more on the gradual relaxation of quarantine regulations and more.
1.) Update: [Entry into Korea]
Effective March 21st, fully vaccinated travelers who have their vaccination records registered in Korea will be exempted from quarantine upon entry.
Effective April 1st, fully vaccinated travelers who have their vaccination records registered outside of Korea (i.e., vaccinated outside of Korea), will also be exempted from quarantine upon entry. To do so, they must upload their travel details and vaccination records prior to travel on Q-Code.
Q-CODE: In both cases, the travel details and vaccination records must be submitted online to the Korean authorities via a platform called “Q-Code” (https://cov19ent.kdca.go.kr/cpassportal/). Upon successful submission, a QR-Code will be issued, which must be presented upon landing either electronically or in paper format complete with all the accompanying proof (e.g., vaccination certificate, 48H negative PCR certificate).
Travelers who belong to the latter group (vaccination records outside of Korea) may submit their info online starting from March 30st.
Please keep in mind that Q-Code registration is separate from visa issuance. To enter Korea without a visa, a K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization, https://www.k-eta.go.kr/) is required.
* Travelers who are not fully vaccinated or are from areas of concerns (Vietnam, Myanmar, Ukraine, Pakistan as of time of writing; list is being constantly updated at BTSC) may apply for a quarantine exemption as before via BTSC.
** “Fully-vaccinated” refers to those who have received all recommended doses in their primary series of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine, granted it has been at least 14 days and no more than 180 days since the last dose, and a booster dose when eligible. A certificate of recovery is accepted in lieu as well.
*** Until above mentioned dates, the mandatory 7-days quarantine will remain in place for all travelers.
**** The 48H pre-departure requirement for entering Korea will be maintained as before (48H from testing to departure, certificate printed either in English or Korean).
2.) Re-Entry Permit
Effective April 1st, re-entry permits will not be required for certain long-term holders if they leave and intend to re-enter Korea within a prescribed time frame. Germans and nationals from other 12 countries* may freely leave and (re-)enter Korea within their authorized period of stay without having to apply for a re-entry permit.
F-5: No re-entry permit required if re-entry is within 2 years from date of departure.
F-4: No re-entry permit required if re-entry is within authorized period of stay
A-1 ~ A-3, D-1 ~ F-3 (incl. D-8, E-7), F-6 ~ H-2: No re-entry permit required if re-entry is within 1 year from date of departure.
* Nations from Surinam, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Luxemburg, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Finland, and Chile (D-7 ~ D-9) are exempt from re-entry permit obligations for as long as their visa is valid.
3.) Social Distancing
Starting March 21st, the cap on private gatherings will be raised from 6 to 8 people, regardless of vaccination status. Business hour restrictions will be maintained as before (~11 pm curfew). The current rules will be in place for two weeks until April 3rd.
As part of its stimulus package, the German Federal Government has decided to reduce the applicable VAT from 19 to 16 percent for a limited period of time. The reduced tax rate is valid from 1 July to 31 December 2020.
For people who
an entry ban will come into force immediately if you are in the Schengen area within 14 days of entering the USA in Germany or another country.
- All regular (sticker) Visas/e-Visa granted to nationals of France, Germany and Spain and issued on or before 11.3.2020 and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect.
- All regular (sticker) Visas/e-Visa (including VoA for Japan and South Korea) granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and which have been issued on or before 03.03.2020 and who have not yet entered India remain suspended.
- Regular (sticker) visa/e-Visa granted to nationals of China, issued on or before 05.02.2020 suspended earlier continue to be suspended.
- Regular (sticker) visas/e-Visas granted to all foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Germany and Spain on or after 01.02.2020 and who have not yet entered India stands suspended with immediate effect.
- All aforementioned restricted category of foreign nationals may not enter India from any Air, Land or Seaport ICPs. Those requiring to travel to India due to compelling reasons, may seek fresh visa from the nearest Indian embassy/consulate. Italian and South Korean nationals, who are granted fresh visa issued after 05.03.2020 should carry ‘tested negative for COVID-19’ medical certificate from designated laboratories of Italy and South Korea.
- Indians and OCI card holders from Italy and South Korea should carry ‘tested negative for COVID-19’ medical certificate from designated laboratories of Italy and South Korea. OCI card holders of other countries are free from visa restrictions but shall need to undergo mandatory health check upon arrival in India.
- Visas of all foreigners already in India remain valid. They may contact the nearest FRRO/FRO through e-FRRO module for extension/conversion etc of their visa or grant of any consular service if they choose to do so.
- Holders of Diplomatic passports, Official passports, officials of UN and other international bodies and aircrew from above eight countries are exempted from such restriction on entry. However, their medical screening on arrival is compulsory.
- All foreign and Indian nationals entering into India from any port are required to furnish a pair of duly filled self-declaration forms (including personal particulars i.e. Phone number and address in India) and travel history to health officials and immigration officials at all arrival ports.
These restrictions will remain in force till further orders.12.03.2020 Update: Currently it is not possible to apply for e-Visa from Germany, nor are Visa applications accepted in the Indian Visa Centers or Consulates. This applies to all nationalities.