China Relaxes Some Travel Restrictions For International Travellers

China Relaxes Some Travel Restrictions For International Travellers

China has been among the most restrictive countries in the world when it came to travel amidst the pandemic. The Chinese government has been implementing aggressive contact tracing, regular testing, forced quarantine and strict lockdown measures to prevent COVID transmission.

After almost three years, the country is now easing some of those restrictions. China relaxed several COVID measures for international travellers relating to flight bans, testing and quarantine times.

China is the last major economy to maintain strict COVID prevention policies, with its borders still tightly shut to most foreign nationals.

Latest Update on China’s Travel Restrictions

Incoming passengers will now need to show only one negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before boarding, according to the note released by China’s National Health Commission. Previously two negative PCR tests were required.

International arrivals now need to quarantine for a total of eight days instead of ten. The mandatory centralised quarantine upon arrival is for five days and followed by another three days of home isolation. Also, officials will no longer record secondary contacts for tracing allowing many to avoid quarantine. 

All international travellers, including those who have a residence in China, need to complete quarantine at a government-selected facility or a hotel at their own expense, and they have no control over the amenities. 

China also got ended its ‘circuit breaker’ policy in which all international flights into China could have been banned for a period of time if the country noticed a spike in positive cases.

This much-criticised rule meant that all international flights to China could be banned for one to two weeks when a “high” number of infected passengers were discovered on arrival.

It often results in flights being cancelled at the last minute, creating significant disruption for travellers.

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