China Ends Quarantine For International Travelers
Beijing last month began a dramatic dismantling of a hardline virus strategy :
By : Thoughtfulnews January 09, 2023
BEIJING : China lifted quarantine requirements for inbound travelers on Sunday, ending nearly three years of self-isolation as the country grapples with a surge in COVID cases.
Beijing last month began a dramatic dismantling of its draconian virus strategy, which had implemented mandatory quarantines and draconian lockdowns.
Containment policies have fueled the Chinese economy and sparked nationwide protests.
In the final deciphering of these rules, people entering China on Sunday will no longer be quarantined.
Since March 2020, all arrivals had to be quarantined in central government facilities. This is because this summer he has been reduced from three weeks to one week and in November he has been reduced to five days.
Chinese people are rushing to plan overseas trips after authorities announced last month that they would end quarantines. prompting a surge in inquiries to popular travel websites.
But the expected surge in visitors has led more than a dozen countries to impose mandatory COVID tests on travelers from the world’s most populous countries.
The outbreak is expected to worsen as China enters the Lunar New Year holiday this month, with millions of hard-hit big cities traveling to the countryside to visit vulnerable elderly relatives.
Beijing continues to ban most foreign tourists and students from traveling to China. But says travel restrictions imposed by other countries are “unacceptable.”
‘More The Merrier’ (China)
Despite the testing requirement, 28-year-old Zhang Kai told AFP he was planning a trip to South Korea or Japan.
“I’m happy. I can finally let go,” Zhang said.
A friend of his has already landed in Japan and undergoes a test he dismisses as a “trifle.”
Across Asia, tourist hubs are preparing for a surge in Chinese visitors.
Song Kyung-rak said his crepe stand in Seoul was planning to accommodate the influx of tourists.
“We are recruiting staff and preparing stockpiles,” the 24-year-old told AFP in Myeongdong, Seoul’s popular downtown area.
“Chinese tourists are our main customers, so the more, the more fun.”
In Tokyo, cartoonist Masashi Azumaya honed his Chinese skills as he prepared to welcome more tourists.
But while he told AFP he was excited about China’s reopening, he also acknowledged some concerns.
“I fear that too much of an influx of them will overwhelm our capacity. I am also concerned that we need to pay more attention to virus protection,” he told AFP.
Hong Kong Opens
Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous city in southern China, also plans to significantly ease its strict travel restrictions across the border with mainland China on Sunday.
Recession-hit economy is desperate to reunite with its biggest source of growth, and families separated at the border look forward to reuniting for the Chinese New Year.
Up to 50,000 Hong Kong residents can cross the border at his three land checkpoints every day after registering online.
Mayor John Lee said another 10,000 people will be able to enter by sea, air or bridge without prior registration.
In total, more than 280,000 people signed up for the trip within a day. However, Hong Kong travelers must present a negative nucleic acid test result obtained no later than 48 hours prior to departure.
The immigration department will start issuing travel permits for mainland residents to Hong Kong and Macau “depending on the epidemic situation and service capacity,” the city said.
Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific has announced that it will more than double its flights to mainland China.