“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s hereby announced that China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals in India holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits. Chinese embassy/consulates in India will not stamp the health declaration forms for holders of the above-mentioned categories of visa or residence permits,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement.
The external affairs ministry sees the development as a temporary measure, following consultations with the Chinese authorities. A source told ET that the curb can be lifted in due course. “The action taken is to temporarily suspend existing visas only. As the notice indicates, future visa applications have not been banned. Visas issued after November 3 is valid for travel to China. The measure is not India specific either. Similar measures have been announced in respect of several other countries. The reason behind the measure seems to be Chinese concerns on possible rise in Covid-19 cases globally, aggravated due to the advent of autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere,” the source said.
“The Government of India is in touch with the Chinese side to facilitate essential travel of Indians to and from China,” the source said. China had said that foreigners holding Chinese diplomatic, service, courtesy and C visas are not affected. Foreigners with emergency or humanitarian needs to visit China can submit visa application to the Chinese embassy/consulates in India.
“The suspension is a temporary measurement that China has to adopt to deal with the current pandemic,” the embassy statement said.