The Italian Embassy in Beijing has called reports about the visa suspension of Chinese tour groups groundless.
Through a statement, the embassy said that so far has received regular visa applications from nationals from China, both individually and in groups, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, the embassy said that ADS group tourism visa applications would be received soon while emphasizing that the registration of accredited Chinese travel agencies is underway.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, in a previous report on the pilot resumption of outbound group tours for nationals of China to foreign countries, revealed that Italy was ranked among the second group of a total of 40 countries to which outbound tours, as well as operations from China, resumed from March 15, this year.
When planning to travel to Italy, nationals of China are required to apply for a visa first. Italy’s short-stay visa allows tourists from China to stay in this country for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
However, depending on the purpose of entry to this European country, applicants can get one of the following C-type visas known as short-stay visas to Italy: Italian airport transit visa, tourist visa, business visa or visa for an official visit, as well as for medical or study purposes.
The European country has been considered among the most favourite destinations for travellers from China before the spread of the Coronavirus and its new variants. Based on the figures of the Italian National Institute of Statistics, a total of 5,356,000 Chinese tourists visited Italy before the pandemic.
The surge in the number of infection cases with which China was dealing by the end of last year led authorities in Italy to reimpose mandatory COVID-19 test requirements for all passengers coming from China.
“The measure is essential to ensure surveillance and detection of possible variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population”, Italian Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, pointed out in this regard.
In addition to Italy, several other European countries reimposed COVID-related restrictions as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus further.
However, following a meeting held in February this year, the Swedish Presidency of the European Union Council called on to impose joint measures and gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions imposed on travellers from China.
Italy and China have a tight relationship when it comes to the tourism sector. With the easing of restrictions, the interest of Chinese tourists to visit Italy has marked a notable increase.