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China to finish quarantine for international travelers


Passenger planes sit on the tarmac at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on Nov. 4, 2022, before China ended Covid-related restrictions on travel.

Future Publishing | Future Publishing | Getty Images

BEIJING — China announced late Monday that travelers will not must quarantine upon arrival on the mainland starting Jan. 8.

The forthcoming shift follows an abrupt rest this month in domestic Covid controls. The changes end the majority of probably the most restrictive measures that China had imposed for nearly three years under its zero-Covid policy.

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Since March 2020, travelers to the mainland have needed to quarantine, typically at a chosen hotel and for 14 days. That isolation period subsequently began to extend to 21 days or more for some travelers, before China began cutting quarantine times this summer.

Current policy requires five days of quarantine at a centralized facility, followed by three days at home.

China’s National Health Commission also said that effective Jan. 8, authorities would stop tracking close contacts of Covid patients, halt the designation of Covid risk areas and cancel Covid measures that had slowed the import of products.

The commission said travelers to China would only need to indicate a negative virus test from throughout the last 48 hours, and would not must apply for a transparent health code anymore. While on the flight, passengers would wish to still wear a face mask, the announcement said.

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China’s economy slowed this yr amid stringent Covid controls that locked down Shanghai for about two months, in addition to other parts of the country. Beijing suddenly ended most of the restrictions earlier this month. Meanwhile, local Covid infections surged, pressuring an already stretched public health system.

More flights needed

The inbound quarantine requirement and other Covid-related measures have made it difficult for foreign businesses in China to herald staff, executives and factory technicians.

“Simply because the borders are open doesn’t suggest travel will bounce back immediately,” Michael Hart, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said last week.

He noted the number of accessible flights out and in of China has to get well. “I do not think the U.S. carriers or the international carriers will immediately return to normal because those airplanes are already flying other routes,” Hart said. “It might be different with Chinese airlines, since the airplanes are only sitting on the tarmac doing nothing.”

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In 2019, China said there have been 670 million international trips in and in another country. In 2021, the number had plunged to 128 million, based on the National Immigration Administration.

China said Monday it might improve visa arrangements for foreigners to enter the country for resumption of labor, business, study, visiting relatives and other gatherings.

Chinese residents’ ability to travel overseas will probably be “resumed in an orderly manner,” the announcement said in Chinese, based on a CNBC translation.

Throughout the pandemic, Beijing prevented Chinese residents from getting passports or leaving the country unless they’d a transparent, typically business, purpose.

Previously, Chinese tourists and their spending overseas — especially for luxury goods— had been a big source of income for businesses in lots of international tourist spots.

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