China-UAE travel: Beijing allows group tourists to visit Emirates from next month

The world’s largest populous country ended its zero-Covid policy and reopened its borders for foreign travellers


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 22 Jan 2023, 10:11 AM

Last updated: Sun 22 Jan 2023, 6:04 PM

China has allowed organised groups to travel to the UAE from next month as the South Asian country reopens after the pandemic.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, travel agencies and online tourism services providers in China can provide group tours to the UAE from February 6, 2023.

China halted outbound group travel in 2020 following the outbreak of the pandemic. The world’s largest populous country ended its zero-Covid policy and reopened its borders for foreign travellers as it passed the peak of Covid patients.

On December 26, China’s National Health Commission downgraded Covid-19 from Class A to Class B, which means the requirement for quarantine has been dropped for the passengers.

Starting from January 8, China-bound travellers from the UAE are required only to take one PCR test 48 hours before boarding the flight.

Passengers from the UAE with negative Covid-19 test results shall make a health declaration to China Customs before travelling. However, travellers with positive test results must wait until the result is negative.

It was reported that around 80 per cent of Chinese residents have been infected with the coronavirus.

In the pre-pandemic year, Dubai received 989,000 Chinese visitors in 2019, an increase of 15.5 per cent over the previous year.

In addition to the UAE, outbound group travel from China is allowed to many other countries including Thailand, Russia, Cuba, South Africa, Argentina, Hungary, Indonesia, Cambodia, Kenya, Cuba, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, New Zealand, Singapore, Fiji, the Philippines, Switzerland and Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, a Chinese tourist group began a tour of Egypt this week ahead of the Chinese New Year, becoming the first group from China to visit a foreign country in three years after the outbreak of the pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported.

As China eases international travel restrictions on its citizens, some countries have required Chinese nationals to carry a negative Covid-19 test or be fully vaccinated.

For group travels, relevant airline ticket and hotel booking services will resume from February 6.


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