The Chinese Embassy in India has said it would simplify visa applications for Indians inoculated with ‘Made in China’ Covid-19 vaccines. However, no Chinese-made vaccines against coronavirus are available in India.

China had in November last year barred the entry of foreign nationals living in India into the country in the wake of rising coronavirus cases.

Announcing measures for recipients of Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines, the embassy notified, “Persons and their family members going to China to carry on their employment contracts, work resumption and other relevant activities are allowed to submit their visa applications through Chinese Visa Application Service Center to Chinese Embassy or Consulates in India following the same way as before the epidemic occurred.”

Family members of Chinese citizens or holders of Chinese Permanent Resident’s Permit will also be allowed to submit their visa applications in the same process as before the pandemic, the embassy said.

The embassy added that foreigners flying from India to China would be required to present the Electronic Health Declaration for boarding. For the same, they will have to fill in the information, declare the health status and upload the negative certificate of nucleic acid test and IgM antibody test, passport page, as well as valid Chinese visa, which will then be examined and verified by the Chinese Embassy or Consulates in India.

China announces ‘easier’ visa requirements for foreign travellers

In a step towards normalising international travel, China had on Monday said it will facilitate travel for foreign nationals, provided they were inoculated with Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines.

Vaccinated passengers travelling to China by air will still need to show negative tests as under current rules, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, according to an official transcript.

Travellers “should abide by China’s relevant regulations on quarantine and observation after entering China,” Zhao said, adding that China was willing to carry out mutual recognition of vaccination with other nations.

China has been exporting its vaccines mostly to emerging countries. This outreach prompted the United States, Australia, Japan and top global vaccine producer India to announce plans to distribute vaccines in Asia in a competition that has become known as “vaccine diplomacy”.

China has largely brought the coronavirus under control at home since it first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

To stave off the risk of imported cases causing a resurgence in local infections, China restricts entry by foreign nationals to certain purposes, such as work, and those that are allowed in still have to undergo quarantine.

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