Travel resumes

China to open borders after years of lockdown

coronavirus masks
Chinese restrictions will be lifted

Investors and traders will welcome in the new year amid expectations that China is set to scrap quarantine measures for overseas arrivals after nearly three years of strict pandemic restrictions.

From 8 January travellers will only need a PCR test taken 48 hours pre-flight to enter China, according to the country’s National Health Commission (NHC).

The announcement in an online notice on Monday follows Beijing’s decision to drop mandatory testing and lockdowns earlier this month.

“According to the national health quarantine law, infectious disease quarantine measures will no longer be taken against inbound travellers and goods,” the NHC said.

Apart from the changes to testing requirements, the testrictions limiting the number of international flights will also be abolished.

The measures will take effect from 8 January, when Covid will be downgraded from the top tier of infectious diseases to a second tier, the NHC said.

The country’s strict restrictions have disrupted international tourism and business travel, and hampered the country’s economy.

There has already been some loosening of visa restrictions, allowing direct relatives of Chinese citizens to apply for family reunion visas, and iincreasing number of world leaders have visited since the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

The regime is now looking at a more ‘targeted’ policy to tackle what remains a high level of infection. It is thought there could be as many as 5,000 deaths a day with reports of overcrowded hospitals, morgues and crematoriums.

There has been global concern that the Chinese authorities will change the way it records Covid fatalities which could lessen the actual number.

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