China ends quarantine on travelers amid coronavirus wave

China ends quarantine on travelers amid coronavirus wave

The decision prompted the Chinese to plan trips abroad after nearly three years of strict policies

Image: reproduction

The decision prompted the Chinese to plan trips abroad after nearly three years of strict policies

China has decided to lift mandatory quarantine for everyone arriving in the country from January 8. And with this decision, the Chinese began to book flights abroad on Tuesday (27), after all, when they return, they will not need to be quarantined, as has been the case for nearly three years.

The measure adds to the lifting of most restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus in early December. The Health Commission, a body with functions equivalent to those of the ministry, said that starting next month, everyone who only wants to enter Chinese territory will be required to submit a recent negative test.

Currently, China is the only major country in the world that requires quarantine of anyone traveling to its territory, which is hurting the tourism sector. Confinement lasts five days, followed by three more days of home observation.

The Health Committee has indicated that it no longer considers COVID-19 as pneumonia, but as a less serious “infectious” disease. On social media, Chinese celebrated the end of restrictions. “It’s over (…) Spring is coming,” said one of the most liked comments on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.

“Looks like someone hit the quit button,” said a Shanghai resident whose surname is Chen. She will now be able to visit her family in the UK. “Finally, China has returned to normal life.”

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A resident of Shanghai, whose surname is Du, believes that with the opening, the country should reach the so-called herd immunity and “there is no way to avoid the virus in the city.”

State media reported that searches for overseas flights soared after the announcement. Travel platform Tongcheng saw an 850% increase in searches and a 1,000% increase in requests for visa information.

Trip.com claimed search volume increased 10 times compared to the same period last year just half an hour after the government’s announcement. The most popular destinations are Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and South Korea, according to the company.