China plans to drop COVID-19 quarantine requirements for travelers in January
Beginning on January 8, incoming travelers will only be required to show a negative P.C.R. test within 48 hours of their departure to China
December 27, 2022 6:03am
Updated: December 27, 2022 6:03am
China announced on Monday that overseas travelers will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival, as the country inches towards reopening since the COVID-19 pandemic began almost three years ago.
Beginning on January 8, incoming travelers will only be required to show a negative P.C.R. test within 48 hours of their departure to China, announced China’s National Health Commission.
Additionally, limitations on the number of incoming flights will also be eased. However, it is still unknown how many flights will be allowed to enter the country.
China has been almost completely cut off from the world for three years after the Chinese Communist Party implemented harsh travel restrictions. Foreigners were completely banned from entering the country throughout 2020, and afterward only a select few with family or business there were allowed in.
Initially, even Chinese nationals who were outside of the country when the pandemic hit were prevented from returning home. While this policy changed a few months later, travelers would have to undergo extensive health screening and quarantine for as long as two months in some cases.
The move announced on Monday is the first major step that China has taken to lift its “zero COVID” policy to handle the pandemic. Under the harsh policy, the CCP sought to completely eliminate infections by completely locking down cities and preventing millions of people from leaving their homes for months at a time.
The easing of travel restrictions “basically signals the final end of zero Covid,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
China has also relaxed many other domestic COVID-19 policies this month, including mandatory tests and allowing home quarantine for those with the virus.