March 28, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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China ends quarantine on international travelers

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

Publishing in the future | Publishing in the future | Getty Images

BEIJING – China announced late Monday that travelers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in the mainland starting January 8.

The next shift follows Sudden relaxation this month In local covid controls. The changes end the bulk of the most restrictive measures China has imposed for nearly three years under its zero Covid policy.

Since March 2020, travelers to the mainland have had to self-quarantine, usually in a designated hotel and for a period of 14 days. This period of isolation then began to increase to 21 days or longer for some travellers, before China began Cut out quarantine times this summer.

The current policy requires five days of quarantine at a central facility, followed by three days at home.

China’s National Health Commission also said that from January 8, authorities will stop close contact tracing of COVID patients, stop identifying risk areas for the COVID virus, and cancel COVID measures that have slowed the import of goods.

The commission said that travelers to China will only need to show a negative virus test within the past 48 hours, and will no longer have to apply for a clear health code. The announcement stated that during the flight, passengers will still need to wear face masks.

More flights are needed

Indoor quarantine requirements and other Covid-related measures have made it difficult for foreign companies in China to bring in employees, executives and plant technicians.

“Just because the borders are open doesn’t mean travel will immediately return,” Michael Hart, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said last week.

He noted that the number of available flights in and out of China should recover. “I don’t think the US airlines or the international airlines will immediately go back to normal because those planes are already flying other routes,” Hart said. “It might be different with the Chinese airlines, because the planes just sit on the tarmac and do nothing.”

Read more about China from the CNBC Pro