Japan and South Korea no longer receive short-term visas from China due to Covid travel restrictions on Chinese citizens.
The Beijing embassy in Seoul announced that visas for South Koreans traveling to China as tourists had been suspended.
According to Japanese media, China was implementing similar regulations there.
Beijing claims the tit-for-tat action would continue until ‘discriminatory’ entrance restrictions against China are abolished.
China’s foreign ministry criticized South Korea’s decision to suspend providing tourist visas to Chinese nationals as “unacceptable” and “unscientific” last week.
South Korea’s foreign ministry responded to China’s most recent action by telling the BBC that their approach to Chinese immigrants was “in conformity with scientific and objective evidence.”
Currently, China is permit to visit Japan so long as they do not test positive for Covid.
Before the implementation of visa restrictions, a third of all arrivals from China tested positive for Covid, according to South Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
The limitations are expect to remain until the end of the month, giving researchers time to examine any potential novel varieties that might originate in China.
“China now lacks transparency on any unique variety monitoring. A new variation from China would put the entire world in a terrible predicament “According to BBC Professor Kim Woo Joo, a government advisor and infectious diseases expert at Korea University.
Furthermore, it would be disastrous for Korea’s healthcare system. Our older population is already under-vaccinat, and we already have a high number of hospitalisations and fatalities. We are concerned about this.”
Only a few business or diplomatic travelers from China are currently permit entry into South Korea. Both upon arrival and before leaving, they must test negative.
Arrivals are greeted by military soldiers dressed in protective gear at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, the only South Korean airport still permitting flights from China.
The BBC could talk with a few as they were being led to the airport testing facility.
“Personally, I consider it acceptable. During this pandemic, I have experienced far worse “said William, a Shanghai businessman. “As a traveller, I simply attempt to abide by the rules as much as I can.”
Another traveler, though, was of a different opinion.
Emily, who arrived from Hong Kong, says, “In my opinion, it’s not at all scientific.” She had to do the same tests as anyone arriving from the Chinese mainland.
“It seems a little unfair to me from this perspective. It’s hard for me to fathom how unsafe they must feel.
While many South Koreans agree that their nation needs to be protect against the coronavirus outbreak in China, not everyone believes that the decision to restrict travel is solely medical.
There is a political element to it, and relations between the two countries are not good. Many Koreans harbor strong hostility toward Chinese people and blame them for the coronavirus, “Jinsun remarked en route to Abu Dhabi.
Another traveler to Paris on her honeymoon stated South Korea might not have enacted such regulations if the nation in question wasn’t China.
“China, on the other hand, would have a problem with whatever we did,” she added.