China will no longer require inbound travellers to quarantine starting on January 8, according to the National Health Commission, as the country takes steps to ease restrictions on its borders, which have been largely closed since 2020.
It is worth noting that, currently, international passengers arriving in China must quarantine for five days at a hotel, followed by three days at home.
The country has also downgraded its management of COVID-19 from the top-level Category A to the less strict Category B, as the disease has become less virulent and is expected to eventually evolve into a common respiratory infection.
The changes come after China abruptly dropped nearly all of its domestic COVID restrictions this month, leading to a nationwide surge in infections. While strict requirements for inbound travellers will be lifted on January 8, travellers will still be required to undergo PCR testing 48 hours before their departure.
The number of passengers on international flights will also be increased. Arrangements for foreign individuals to come to China for work and business will be improved, and necessary visas will also be facilitated.
The entry and exit of passengers at sea and land ports will gradually resume, and the outbound travel of Chinese nationals will be restored “in an orderly manner.”
China is the last major country to treat COVID as endemic, and its containment measures had slowed its $17 trillion economy to its lowest growth rate in nearly half a century, disrupting global supply chains and trade.