Beijing has suspended short-term visas for South Koreans starting from Tuesday following the introduction of extra travel requirements for visitors from China by Seoul in December.
Chinese Embassy in Seoul said that visas for South Koreans wanting to visit China for reasons, including business and tourism, would be suspended until “discriminatory” entry restrictions against China were lifted.
Several countries, including South Korea – and also in Europe, have introduced a requirement for travellers from China.
Several countries want travellers from China to present a negative COVID-19 test before departure following a surge of COVID cases in the country.
China had recently abandoned its zero-COVID policy, prompting many countries to fear that new virus variants could emerge from the world’s most populous country.
After almost three years of lock-downs, mass testing and mandatory quarantine, China abandoned its zero-COVID policy on December 7, 2022.
Since then, China has seen a rapidly rising number of infections, with the elderly and those suffering from preconditions, particularly affected.
Hospitals are overcrowded and crematoriums are struggling to keep up with the demand.
According to estimates, many people may have died so far. Beijing has stopped publishing infection numbers.