For the first time since placing limits on overseas travel in March 2020, China has reopened its borders to travelers from outside.
As the nation fights a surge in cases, there will be no longer be a requirement for incoming travelers to quarantine, marking a dramatic shift in the Covid policy.
They will still demand documentation of a PCR test that was negative and performed within 48 hours of the trip.
Many people who are ready to reunite with family have welcomed the move.
In the upcoming weeks, 400,000 individuals from Hong Kong are anticipated to fly into locations like Beijing and Xiamen, where there would be lengthy lines for flights.
Despite the fact that one of her parents had colon cancer, a woman told the news agency Reuters that she had not seen her parents in years and that she was “so, so joyful.”
The reopening of the nation coincides with the beginning of “chun yun,” the first travel season during the Lunar New Year. It was the largest yearly global migration of individuals going home to visit relatives prior to the epidemic.
This Lunar New Year, two billion individuals are anticipated to travel, which is an increase from the previous year’s amount.
A number of lockdowns, frequent testing requirements, and one of the tightest Covid health laws in the world over the previous three years in China had a substantial negative influence on the country’s economy.
Following widespread demonstrations around the nation in response to a fire in a high-rise building in the Xinjiang province that left 10 people dead, the government recently reversed course on that policy. Although authorities disputed this, many Chinese suspected that the long-standing Covid restrictions were a factor in the deaths.
Hospitals and crematoriums have reportedly been overcrowded since China abandoned the main tenets of its Covid zero policy, but the nation has stopped publishing official case counts and only announced two deaths yesterday.
The Chinese government recently blocked more than 1,000 social media accounts that criticized how it was treating the outbreak.
Many nations, notably the UK, have implemented criteria for a negative COVID-19 test for travelers from China, angering the Chinese government. This is due to the predicted spike in cases and tourists.