Previously, China had one of the strictest COVID-19-related border policies in the world, only ending its strict “zero COVID” policy in December.
China dropped mandatory COVID-19 testing for incoming travelers on Wednesday, becoming one of the last countries in the world to do so.
China, which first eased international travel rules in March, previously required travelers to take a COVID-19 test before their departure and input those results into a customs health declaration form. Now, the country has dropped those testing requirements, the Associated Press reported, citing a briefing from a Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
The decision to drop mandatory testing comes months after Hong Kong did the same, eliminating all COVID-19 testing and quarantine measures.
Previously, China had one of the strictest COVID-19-related border policies in the world, only ending its strict “zero COVID” policy in December, the AP noted. At one point, incoming travelers were required to isolate in government-designated hotels for weeks.
It may be easier to travel to China, but the U.S. Department of State has issued a “Level 3” travel alert for the country, urging Americans to “reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions.” Travelers who do go are advised to enroll in the department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to be aware of their surroundings, and to avoid demonstrations.
Hong Kong has been classified as a “Level 2” city with the State Department recommending travelers “exercise increased caution” when going.
Travelers who do head to China will find new hotels — like the Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which opened in a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well as classic and breathtaking sites like the Great Wall of China.
The decision to open up more leaves very few countries left in the world with strict pandemic-era restrictions. One of those countries is North Korea, which just launched its first post-COVID-19-era flight on the country’s flagship carrier, Air Koryo, from Pyongyang to Beijing last week, according to the BBC.
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