CNN

China will end Covid restrictions and quarantining for international travelers

Dec 26, 2022, 1:30 PM

An airport in china, where the US is requiring COVID tests for travel...

Travellers walk at a terminal hall of the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China March 23, 2022. (REUTERS/Tingshu Wang)

(REUTERS/Tingshu Wang)

Originally Published: 26 DEC 22 12:27 ET

    (CNN) — China will drop quarantine requirements for all passengers arriving from outside of the country’s borders starting on January 8, 2023, its top health authority announced Monday.

Related: China eases anti-COVID measures following protests

The country will also scrap all other restrictive Covid measures for travelers, including quarantines for positive patients and contact tracing.

Authorities said the new policy is part of a new way China plans to manage Covid. China downgraded Covid management to a less-strict “Class B disease,” in the same category as less-severe diseases, such as Dengue fever. China will also call Covid an “infection” instead of “pneumonia.” The change is “more in line with the current characteristics and danger level of this disease,” the National Health Commission said in a statement.

“The less-deadly Omicron variant has become the dominant strain of SARS-Cov-2, and only a very small number of cases developed to pneumonia,” NHC said in a statement Monday.

The existing quarantine policy for international arrivals to China was first launched in 2020 and modified over the course of the past several years. The most recent policy, which will end January 8, required people arriving from outside mainland China and Macao to undergo five days of hotel quarantine and three days of self-isolation at home.

Travelers still must take a Covid test before arriving in China, but passengers will no longer need to submit their results to a Chinese embassy or consulate and apply for a code. Starting January 8, travelers can test and display the result before they board the plane.

The NHC also vowed to resume outbound tourism for Chinese citizens in an orderly manner, depending on the international Covid situation and the capacity of various domestic services.

China has very gradually loosened its restrictions after closing its borders to nearly all travelers in March 2020, when the pandemic started spreading throughout the rest of the world.

After nearly three years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing, China abruptly abandoned its zero-Covid policy this month following nationwide protests over its heavy economic and social toll.

At the same time, China is grappling with an unprecedented wave of infections that has severely strained its hospitals and emptied pharmacy shelves. Since the world’s second largest economy drastically eased its Covid restrictions, there has been no clear data on the extent of the virus’ spread on the national level. But several cities and provinces have said they were seeing tens of thousands of new cases per day.

The abrupt change in policy has sparked panic buying of fever and cold medicines, leading to widespread shortages, both at pharmacies and on online shopping platforms. Long lines have become routine outside fever clinics and hospital wards overflowing with patients in the capital Beijing and elsewhere in the country.

China’s top leaders have signaled recently that they would shift focus back to growth next year and have bet on the relaxation of pandemic restrictions to lift the economy.

China’s current focus is to prepare sufficient medical resources, according to the NHC statement. Big and middle size cities need to quickly transform their “Fangcang”, makeshift centralized Covid quarantine facilities, into designated hospitals with enough health workers staffed, NHC added.

NHC also didn’t completely rule out the possibility for temporary and local restriction measures going forward.

“As we manage the outbreaks, we should pay special attention to real-time global assessment of the outbreak’s intensity — pressure on the health system and general situation of the society — and take appropriate lawful measures to limit people’s group activities and movement in a flexible way to flatten the curve,” it said in the statement, adding that lockdowns might be re-imposed at nursing homes if the outbreak is severe.

— CNN’s Selina Wang, Nectar Gan and Laura He contributed to this report

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Related: China Challenge Summit brings experts to UVU

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

CNN

Soldiers carry the coffin of Ukrainian poet and serviceman Maksym Kryvtsov who was killed in action...

Stephanie Halasz and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Zelensky warns ‘millions will be killed’ without US aid to Kyiv, as Ukrainian troop deaths reach at least 31,000

“Millions” could die in Ukraine’s war with Russia if US lawmakers don’t approve President Joe Biden’s $60 billion aid request.

2 days ago

Kathy Brandel and her husband of 27 years, Ralph Hendry...

Sharif Paget, Chris Boyette and Polo Sandoval, CNN

Family of Americans believed dead after yacht allegedly hijacked in Grenada describe scene of violence

The family of two Americans who may have been killed in an alleged yacht high jacking in Granada hope the couple might be found alive.

2 days ago

Police tape drapes the crime scene on a trail behind Lake Herrick at the University of Georgia in A...

Ashley R. Williams, Raja Razek, Priscilla Alvarez, Isabel Rosales and Jaide Timm-Garcia, CNN

Questions remain in investigation of death of Augusta University student found on UGA campus

As the investigation continues into the death of an Augusta University student, officials confirmed the immigration status of a suspect.

2 days ago

Kenneth Mitchell, here in 2018, has died....

Megan Thomas, CNN

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Marvel’ actor, dead at 49

A native of Canada, Mitchell acquired more than 50 film and television credits over the course of his acting career. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2019.

3 days ago

Charles E. Escalera, 21...

Michelle Watson and Maria Sole Campinoti, CNN

Kentucky man arrested in connection with death of Campbellsville University student

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a student at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.

3 days ago

Former President Donald Trump walks on stage during the 2024 NRB International Christian Media Conv...

Fredreka Schouten, CNN

Wisconsin ethics panel recommends criminal prosecution for a Trump fundraising committee

A Wisconsin ethics panel is recommending that prosecutors pursue charges against one of Donald Trump’s fundraising arms.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

China will end Covid restrictions and quarantining for international travelers