K. Male'
30 Dec 2022 | Fri 17:07
Some Chinese tourists who visited the Maldives
Some Chinese tourists who visited the Maldives
Sun Online
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Maldives welcomes Chinese decision to ease travel restrictions
Covid-19 restrictions for travelers announced in China will be dissolved starting from 8 January 2023
Chinese authorities are determined to dismantle the last vestiges of their zero-COVID policies

The Government of the Republic of Maldives has welcomed the announcement made by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to end the Covid-19 restrictions for travelers.

The Government of China announced that the Covid-19 restrictions for travelers announced in the country will be dissolved starting from 8 January 2023.

The Government of China will re-open the country to those with work and study visas, or seeking to visit family, and will no longer implement quarantine measures. However, travelers going to China will require a negative test result within 48 hours of departure.

Zero-COVID measures in place since early 2020 - from shuttered borders to frequent lockdowns - last month fuelled the Chinese mainland's biggest show of public discontent since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.

His subsequent abrupt U-turn on the curbs, which have battered the $17-trillion economy, the world's second-largest, means the virus is now spreading largely unchecked across the country of 1.4 billion people.

The numbers are inconsistent with the experience of much less populous countries after they re-opened.

Doctors say hospitals are overwhelmed with five-to-six-times more patients than usual, most of them elderly. International health experts estimate millions of daily infections and predict at least one million COVID deaths in China next year.

Nevertheless, Chinese authorities are determined to dismantle the last vestiges of their zero-COVID policies.

There are no official restrictions on Chinese people going abroad but the new rule will make it much easier for them to return home.

Travel platform Ctrip's data showed that within half an hour of the news, searches for popular cross-border destinations had increased 10-fold. Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and South Korea were the most sought-after according to the platform.

Data from Trip.com showed outbound flights bookings were up 254% early on 27 December, from the day before.

China's National Immigration Administration said that it would resume processing passport applications of Chinese nationals seeking to travel abroad and approving visits of mainland residents to Hong Kong.

China will also resume the implementation of a policy allowing visa-free transit of up to 144 hours for travelers. The extension or renewal of foreigners' visas will also be restored, the immigration administration added.

China has been an important contributor to the Maldives’ tourism industry. Prior to the pandemic and the closing of Chinese borders, Chinese travelers to the Maldives numbered over 280,000 arrivals in 2019.

Last updated at: 3 months ago
Reviewed by: Fathimath Zuhaira
1 year ago
Rainer Schaetz
Will the Maldives make it mandatory for Chinese tourists to produce a negative PCR test prior to departure from China to Maldives? 18% of the Chinese population was infected within 1 week after lifting the zero policy restrictions. Many European countries and others demand negative PCR test results because scientists fear of new variants due to Chinese vulnerability which may cause severe Covid-19 infections and overwhelm the healthcare systems, already happening in major Chinese cities. I am concerned the Govt may fail addressing the issue in an appropriate way.