The strict limits on international travel that form part of China’s zero-tolerance approach to controlling Covid-19 are the biggest issue facing British firms working in the country, but the companies are increasingly optimistic compared to last year, reports Reuters. “Opaque, inconsistent travel and visa policies have made it extremely difficult to bring foreign staff into China,” the British Chamber of Commerce in Beijing said.
The BritCham survey, which had 288 respondents, showed nearly a quarter of companies saw foreign staff numbers fall in 2021, and 41% expect numbers to decrease significantly next year on concerns over separation from family or friends or uncertainties over being able to come back.
While other countries in Asia have slowly opened up their borders to international travel, China still has strict curbs in place involving long quarantines and limits on flights and visas. “China today is physically more isolated from the world than at any time since entering the World Trade Organisation twenty years ago. As international travel starts to recover globally, the contrast with China is striking,” the chamber said.