China Reopens its Borders After Three Years

Over the last three years, countries all over the world have enforced several COVID-19 policies and mandates. In some countries, they’ve enforced 24-hour lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccination policies, and so much more. In China, they closed off its borders to the rest of the world very early on in the pandemic.  

However, on January 8, 2023, China reopened its borders. 

A historic day for many, family members and friends from all over the world had the chance to reunite with their loved ones in China. No longer enforcing strict quarantine requirements, the country has once again reopened itself, however, not entirely to international tourists. However, this means that thousands can cross into Hong Kong and mainland China. The intention behind this decision was to allow family members to visit and for those with business relations to check in on businesses that were halted over the last three years.

In addition to lifting quarantine restrictions, they restarted their visa-free policy, meaning that travelers flying to China no longer needed to renew their travel visas as long as they qualified for the visa-free transit policy (Quan, 2023, January 17), which makes traveling to China accessible to many.  

Students at the University of Denver who either call China home or have relatives and friends living in China were relieved that traveling to the country would be something they could do once again. 

Two University of Denver students, when asked about the news, stated that they were happy and excited that China’s borders were open. This was because they are now able to plan travel visits to the country to see their families and friends, as well as have the opportunity to explore much more of China’s rich history. However, they did express their concerns with the current COVID-19 conditions that seem to continue to weigh on many of the citizens of China.  

Additionally, one of our Global Ambassadors, who is also a student at the university, recently returned to Denver after visiting China! He spent much needed time with friends and family and we are so glad that China granted him the opportunity to do so.

While a breakthrough for China, there is still reasonable uneasiness about what comes next as current COVID-19 conditions are still of much concern. While government-enforced mask mandates are no longer present, according to an article by CNN, several places, especially indoor spaces will have individuals wear face masks (Cripps, 2023, January 8). Encouraging the public, especially those who are more at risk, vaccines are still being distributed.

Despite all these changes in COVID-19 restrictions, opening borders, and what this means for China’s future, there is no denying the importance that January 8, 2023, holds for those who planned, are planning, and eventually will plan to visit China.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to visit the links in the sources cited below!


COVID-19: China ‘making enormous progress’ to get every older adult vaccinated. (2023, January 20). UN News. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from

Cripps, K. (2023, January 8). Can international tourists visit China? Everything you need to know about the country’s reopening. CNN. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from

McCarthy, S., Watson, I., Chang, W., & Wang, S. (2023, January 9). ‘Everything starts to become better’: After three years of Covid isolation, China opens its gates. CNN. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from

Quan, C. (2023, January 17). China Travel Restrictions & Travel Advisory (Updated January 17, 2023). China Highlights. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from

Zhou, J., & Lun Tian, Y. (2023, January 8). China reopens borders in final farewell to zero-COVID. Reuters. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from

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