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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

China blocks South Korean and Japanese visas over Covid restrictions.

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Beijing has said the South Korean visa suspension is in effect until “discriminatory” entry restrictions against China are lifted. Japan and South Korea are not the only countries to impose entry requirements on travelers from China, where Covid cases are rising, but the measures are among the toughest. Last week, South Korea stopped issuing tourist visas to travelers from China. China’s foreign ministry called it “unacceptable” and “unscientific”.

Japan now allows Chinese tourists to enter the country. This is similar to the UK and the US, but Japan also restricts flights from China to certain Japanese cities. Beijing embassies in Seoul and Tokyo have confirmed new visa restrictions for visitors to China. At Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, the only South Korean airport still allowing flights from China, the arrival of military personnel wearing personal protective equipment is expected to continue until at least the end of the month.

Currently, only a small number of business or diplomatic travelers from China are allowed to enter South Korea. Travelers must test negative before departure and also on arrival. A Chinese man who tested positive fled the bus and headed for a quarantined hotel near the airport. Two days later, he was arrested by police at a hotel in Seoul.

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