China to end quarantine for overseas arrivals: Authorities
The National Health Commission announces that travelers would just need a PCR test done 48 hours prior to a flight in order to enter China.
After nearly three years of tight pandemic border restrictions, China will end its quarantine policies for foreign arrivals as of January 8.
The National Health Commission stated in an online notice that travelers would just need a PCR test done 48 hours prior to a flight in order to enter China. The announcement also described the scaled-back containment procedures for Covid-19.
Beijing has been gradually easing its zero-Covid regime, with this declaration coming after it ended compulsory testing and lockdowns earlier this month.
"According to the national health quarantine law, infectious disease quarantine measures will no longer be taken against inbound travelers and goods," the National Health Commission (NHC) said.
"People must take a PCR test in the 48 hours before arriving in China," the notice said, adding that restrictions limiting the number of international flights will also be abolished.
The NHC stated in a separate notification on Monday that the measures would go into effect on January 8 when Covid would be demoted from the top tier of infectious diseases, Class A, to a second tier Class B.
China had up until recently maintained stringent controls.
Since March 2020, all travelers entering the country have been subject to a minimum two-week centralized quarantine period, which was later extended to three weeks.
The regulations severely interrupted international travel for business and pleasure, significantly hurting the nation's economy.
However, China partially modified its visa requirements earlier this year, allowing Chinese residents' immediate families to apply for family reunion visas.
It is also worth noting that China will stop using tracking citizens' intercity movements application as of December 13 as part of easing its "zero tolerance" policy toward the virus following the recent protests in the country, as per the Chinese authorities.
In recent times, Western media has been exaggerating the situation in the country after China adjusted its epidemic control strategy with a sheer focus on preventing severe cases, claiming that Beijing has been facing a shortage of medical supplies and personnel.