China bans multiple-entry visas in Hong Kong until after Olympics

China bans multiple-entry visas in Hong Kong until after OlympicsHong Kong  - China has stopped issuing multiple-entry visas to foreigners travelling from Hong Kong until after the Olympics, a news report said Sunday.

The issuing of visas is also being delayed, taking four days to process in Hong Kong instead of one or two days, the South China Morning Post reported.

Business people and tourists who make regular trips to mainland China from Hong Kong can now only apply for single or double-entry visas, the newspaper said.

Travel agents in Hong Kong say they were told of the ban on multiple-entry visas on March 27 and have been told it will remain in force until October 17.

Before the ban, foreigners could get multiple-entry visas for up to three years to visit mainland China from Hong Kong.

No explanation was given for the ban but it comes at a time when China is restricting access to western parts of the country because of protests over Beijing's handling of unrest in Tibet. (dpa)

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