Chinese embassies in at least 20 countries have, as of Tuesday, begun offering facilitation to visa applicants who have been inoculated with China-produced COVID-19 vaccines as part of efforts to resume international exchanges under the strict quarantine policy in China.
In addition to the Chinese embassies in Australia and Nigeria issuing the notice on Tuesday, the countries now include Greece, India, Italy, Pakistan, Israel, Norway and Indonesia, among others.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian noted at a press conference on Monday that the move aims to make it easier for international travelers who have been inoculated with Chinese OCVID-19 vaccines and have an inoculation certificate to come to China, though certificates of negative results from COVID-19 nucleic acid tests along with IgG antibody tests are still needed for taking flights.
The facilitation of visa application can be enjoyed by those who come to China for work along with their family members, and by those foreign family members of Chinese citizens or permanent residents who come to China for reunions and visiting.
The notice from the Chinese embassy in Greece further explained that such visa applicants are required to complete two injections of China's inactivated vaccines, or other types of Chinese vaccine with a single-dose injection at least 14 days before travel.
However, some World Health Organization (WHO) experts expressed concerns about the availability of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines in foreign countries, which may result in discrimination.
As China still maintains a strict quarantine policy for international arrivals, authorities are still studying issues such as quarantine policies for international travelers and mutual vaccination recognition with other countries, said an expert on Monday.