Beijing, March 14, 2023: There is a good news for patients travelling to China for advanced cancer treatment, and latest therapies like CAR T-Cell therapy, Cilta Cel therapy and even for clinical trials in advanced cancer treatment. China will reopen its borders to foreign tourists on Wednesday for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago by resuming the issuance of all types of visas.
The removal of this final border control measure imposed to combat COVID-19 comes after authorities declared victory over a recent outbreak of the virus last month.
The boost to the tourism industry should assist in reviving a $17 trillion economy that experienced one of its slowest growth rates in nearly half a century last year.
China’s foreign ministry announced on Tuesday that areas that did not require visas prior to the pandemic will again be visa-free. This includes the southern tourist island of Hainan and cruise ships docking at Shanghai port.
Hong Kong and Macau visa-free entry to the southern manufacturing hub of Guangdong will also be reinstated.
Foreign nationals with valid visas issued prior to March 28, 2020 will also be permitted to enter China, according to the ministry.
In January, China lifted its warning against foreign travel for its citizens and added 40 more countries to its list of countries where group tours are permitted, bringing the total to 60.
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According to the Chinese flight tracking application Flight Master, the number of inbound and outbound international flights during the week of March 6 increased by more than 350% compared to the previous year, reaching nearly 2,500 flights. However, this number was still only 17.4% of 2019 levels.
In 2022, there were only 115,7 million border crossings into and out of China, with foreigners accounting for approximately 4.5 million.
In contrast, China recorded 670 million international trips in 2019, of which 97.7 million were made by foreigners.
Beijing abandoned its draconian zero-COVID policies in December, and quarantine requirements for incoming travellers were eliminated in January.
CAR T-Cell therapy in China has grown at a very rapid rate and currently there are more than 750 clinical trials being conducted in China on different types of cancer. Clinical trials for advanced stage colon cancer is ongoing in some of the leading cancer hospitals in China.