The latest measures announced by the Chinese government will ease international travel procedures, as the country looks to move forward past its zero-COVID policies.
With 20 newly published measures, the circular was put forward “to put the people and their lives above everything else,” and to practise the strategy of “preventing both imported cases and domestic resurgences.” Furthermore, the country aims to pursue the newly-named policy of dynamic zero-COVID. read the announcement of the People’s Republic of China’s State Council. “Optimizing and adjusting the COVID-19 response measures does not mean loosening prevention and control against the virus.”
Some of the measures include the shortening of the quarantine by two days for international travelers, as inbound travelers will now go through five days of quarantine at a designated site plus three at home. The previous formula was seven days at a designated site and three days at home. Moreover, the country will now require a single test 48 hours prior to boarding instead of two.
“Inbound important business travelers and sports groups will be directly transferred to closed-loop management areas, exempted from quarantine,” further stated the State Council’s announcement. Airlines, which had infected travelers onboard their flights, will no longer see their flights canceled, as the so-called circuit-breaker mechanism was also scrapped.
In its latest COVID-19 briefing, the National Health Commission (NHC) indicated that there were 268,753 confirmed cases and 5,226 deaths in mainland China on November 10, 2022.
China has been living under the zero-COVID policy since March 2020, with lockdowns occurring whenever a larger outbreak was detected in a certain area. In late-October 2022, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) indicated that it planned to increase the number of international flights by 106% during this winter season (between October 30, 2022, and March 25, 2023), with airlines in the country restarting international routes in the coming weeks and months.