China going to scrap quarantine for inbound travellers

 Tuesday, December 27, 2022 


China will drop quarantine requirements for international arrivals from January 8, 2023, in a major step toward reopening its borders that have shut the country from the rest of the world for nearly three years.

The inbound travellers will only be required to show a negative Covid-19 test result obtained within 48 hours before departure, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in an announcement late on Monday. Currently, they are subject to five days of hotel quarantine and three days of self-isolation at home.

The restrictions on airlines over the number of international flights and passenger capacity will also be removed, according to the announcement.

The easing of borders is part of a broader move by China to dismantles what was left of its long-held zero-Covid-19 policy, which was abruptly abandoned early this month following nationwide protests over its heavy social and economic toll.

The sudden policy U-turn caught the public and the country’s fragile health system unprepared, causing widespread shortages of cold and fever medicine and leaving hospitals scrambling to cope with an unprecedented surge of infections. Having rolled back lockdowns, mass testing and allowed positive patients to quarantine at home, the government is now scrapping other remaining preventive measures, including contact tracing.

China has sealed its borders since March 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus, keeping itself in global isolation even as the rest of the world reopened and moved on from the pandemic.

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