China open to tourism, subject to “travel passport”. The China Daily, the mouthpiece of the government has announced a resumption of tourism in the “second half of 2021”. Hoping for levels to return to 30-50% of pre-covid levels for inbound tourism.
America first policy?
The Global Times announced on March 2nd that travel restrictions between the USA and China could be lifted by as early as August, with it being expected that the majority of Americans will have been vaccinated by then. With China on a similar path, these could be the first two nations to have had travel fully resumed.
What about the travel passport?
According to the story, there are up to 20 countries working on the hallowed “Travel Passport”, although this includes many countries in the EU, who are more than likely to be using the universal EU travel pass.
You can read more about that here.
It is though unlikely that countries such as China, the USA and Australia would use the same scheme. What is most likely is that there will be different digital travel passports created in different countries and zones. Canada and the USA would likely share one scheme, whilst Australia and New Zealand might well do the same.
If China are doing the same it would likely influence countries in their orbit, such as Cambodia. What the vaccine passports will do, theoretically at least would be exempt travelers from having to do quarantine, and, or being tested. Although this is likely to differ from country to country.
What is fairly clear though is that those who have not been vaccinated will either be barred from travel, or at best still have to go through quarantine. If this changes when whole nations have achieved immunization is anyone’s guess.
To read which countries you can travel to regardless, click here.
What are the WHO saying?
Whilst nations are obviously excited about some kind of travel passport and jump-starting of economies, the World Health Authority have come out against such a plan. They have stated and fairly correctly that it is too early to see the effectiveness of vaccines.
To read about the WHO stance on the travel passport click here.
Although with that being said many countries perhaps feel that the time has come to throw caution to the wind. After all, there really is only so much time the planet can remain shut.
China open to tourism? When will this happen?
From what China is saying it basically will depend not only on when you get your vaccine but more importantly when your country hits a sufficient level of people vaccinated.
Therefore countries such as the UK, USA and Israel, where vaccinations are moving at break back speed are likely to be at the top of the list. There is though at least hope now. China tends to keep to what they say, and from August it is likely that the country will at least begin to start opening.
The most likely scenario for China to open to tourism will first involve China setting up its own version of a travel passport app. Whether China will first open to those with family connections or expired visas has yet to be mentioned.
What does this mean for North Korea opening to tourism?
Not all that much, for now at least, but when China is fully vaccinated, we get a better idea of what North Korea plans to do. Do not though expect the DPRK to be open before 2022 at the very earliest.
So, overall the news has more positives than negatives, although we are far from the final lap just yet.