For the first time since it closed its borders in 2020.
It’s been some time since our last trip to China (back in 2019 when we visited Yunnan). So we were really happy to hear that China had resumed issuing visas to international tourists back in March 2023 — after temporarily stopping it since 2020.
And now, with the latest update, we’re even more excited to know that Singaporeans will be able to travel visa-free to China starting 26 July 2023!
Here’s what we know: ordinary Singapore passport holders will be allowed to travel to China for leisure, business, and transit purposes without a visa — provided their stay is only 15 days or less.
If China has been on your bucket list, we bet you’ll be asking these questions so here’s a round-up of all the frequently asked questions and what we know so far! Bookmark this article for the latest updates on travelling to China post-Covid.
Which parts of China are visa-free?
Photo credit: En.sanyatour.com
Not many travellers know but even before the pandemic, there were already a few visa-free states in China. Examples include Hainan — affectionally called the Hawaii of China — and cruise ships traversing Shanghai port.
Back in March 2023, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has already allowed visa-free entry in places which had no visa entry requirements prior to the pandemic.
Tourists coming from Hong Kong and Macau can also visit the coastal province of Guangdong without presenting a visa.
Do I need to get tested for COVID-19?
Since 29 Apr 2023, China no longer requires a negative PCR test result for inbound travellers. Instead, they can just take a home rapid antigen test (RAT) at least 48 hours prior to flight departure. Airlines will also not be checking test results.
Photo credit: China Embassy
However, you will still need to fill out the China Customs’ health declaration form. This can be done via WeChat (scan the QR code above), the website, or their app. Officials will also be conducting spot checks when they deem necessary.
If positive, you may self-isolate in your accommodation or be sent to a medical facility if needed.
Travellers coming from Hong Kong or Macau will not have to present any test result — provided that they didn’t go outside of those places seven days prior to entry.
There has been no confirmation whether or not vaccine certificates are required, but again, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Is there still a quarantine period when I enter China?
No. Since early January this year, travellers coming from other countries have not been required to undergo any isolation or quarantine protocols.
What are the entry requirements for Hong Kong?
Hong Kong now allows tourists to enter their premises without needing to present proof of vaccination or any negative Covid-19 test result. They also allow visa-free travel for Singaporean citizens.
What are the entry requirements for Macau?
Similar to Hong Kong, Macau has dropped the requirement to present proof of vaccination or any COVID-19 test result before boarding.
Do I still have to wear a face mask when travelling in China?
Photo credit: US News
Even before China reopened its borders, wearing a face mask has not been required for locals and tourists. But it is strongly encouraged to do so in certain public settings like trains or buses.
Since March 2023, Hong Kong and Macau have lifted their mask mandates as well!
Preparing for your trip to China
We’re as excited as you to finally be able to explore China now that it has reopened and resumed visa-free travel for Singaporeans. Don’t forget to prepare your travel essentials:
– Vaccination certificate (just in case!)
– Travel insurance
And of course, travelling to China can be overwhelming with so many things to do (don’t even get us started on Hong Kong and Macau). To help you out in planning that trip, feel free to browse through our itineraries and guides for inspiration:
– 2-Week China Itinerary — Rail Adventure Across Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou
– 19 Reasons to Visit China’s Most Underrated Cities — Wuhan, Changsha & Zhangjiajie
– Ultimate First-Timer’s Guide to China: 14 Exciting Things To Do In Beijing
– 25 Exciting Things to Do in Shanghai — First Timer’s Guide From Must-Dos to Hidden Gems
Which city or province are you excited to visit now that visa-free travel for Singaporeans has resumed? Let us know in the comments below!