After over two years of strict lockdowns and precautionary measures put in place to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, China has finally eased its quarantine and flight ban rules. Here are the details.
In what comes as a major move for those wanting to visit China, the country has relaxed its quarantine and flight ban rules. Announced on Friday, 11 November, China hasn’t done away with quarantine totally just yet, but has introduced measures that will make travel easier.
China relaxes quarantine, flight bans
According to the latest notice by the country’s disease control agency, quarantine for inbound travellers has been reduced to eight days from the earlier 10. Of these, the first five will be at a government isolation centre, while the last three will be at home. However, inbound travellers will still have to undergo six nucleic acid tests, and will not be permitted to roam about freely in the country for these quarantine days, the notice adds.
Another relaxation to the strict rules – those flying to China will only have to submit the negative result of one COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of travel, and not two.
Two exemptions from the quarantine in China are those belonging to sports groups and important business personnel, who can skip quarantine as long as they ensure they are contained in virus-secure ‘closed loops’ (bio-bubbles) during their stay.
When it comes to flights, China is doing away with its ‘circuit-breaker’ mechanism, which would immediately shut flights on a route if a certain proportion of travellers tested COVID-19 positive. This is not all. The notice also states that secondary close contacts of the infected persons will no longer be traced and isolated.
As far as domestic COVID-19 tracing mechanisms are concerned, places will now be identified as either ‘high-risk’ or ‘low-risk’ – the former subject to a higher number of curbs and the latter having minimum restrictions. Those travelling from high-risk to low-risk areas will have to undergo a week of home isolation.
China is among the last economies to relax COVID-19-related measures, but the restrictions are still higher than a majority of countries in the world. This comes at a time when there’s a boost in international travel for leisure, education, business, medicine and more.
(Hero and featured image credit: Hanson Lu/Unsplash)
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