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China relaxes Covid quarantine regulations

China relaxes Covid quarantine regulations

China relaxes Covid quarantine regulations

China relaxes Covid quarantine regulations

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  • China is the last major economy in the world to transition to “living with Covid”.
  • The zero-Covid plan damaged the economy and grew tiresome.
  • China has more than a million infections and 5,000 fatalities every day.
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The last significant departure from the nation’s zero-Covid policy will take place in China on January 8, according to officials.

This will reopen the country to people with employment and study permits as well as those who want to visit relatives after nearly three years of closed borders.

According to Tuesday’s announcement from the immigration department, Chinese citizens will also be free to go abroad.

Following the removal of regulations, Covid has aggressively spread. According to reports, hospitals are overburdened and senior citizens are dying.

Officials have ceased disclosing Covid data, therefore it is now unknown what the exact toll is in terms of daily case counts and fatalities.

Last week, Beijing reported a few deaths and around 4,000 new Covid infections per day.

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It said on Sunday that it will no longer post case numbers at all. However, according to Airfinity, a British health data company, China has more than a million infections and 5,000 fatalities every day.

After three years of lockdowns, closed borders, and required quarantines for Covid cases and contacts, China is the final major economy in the world to transition to “living with Covid.”

The so-called zero-Covid strategy hurt the economy and made people tired of rules and tests that were repeated.

President Xi Jinping was targeted in rare public protests in November as a result of public discontent with the program, and just a few weeks later, the government repealed the Covid regulations.

Closed borders are still the fundamental limitation. Since March 2020, everybody entering China has been subject to a requirement that they spend up to three weeks at a time in a state facility’s mandatory quarantine. Recently, it was shortened to five days.

On the other hand, Covid was formally reduced to a Class B infectious disease on January 8 according to a statement made by the National Health Commission on Monday.

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Quarantine would therefore be eliminated, while incoming travelers would still need to submit to a PCR test. Additionally, there would be no daily flight restriction allowed into China.

In addition, the authorities promised to “optimize” visa procedures for foreigners planning to visit, visit family, or study in China.

Uncertainty surrounds whether tourist visas fall under this category, but officials announced the launch of a test program for international cruise ships.

The immigration administration stated on Tuesday that Chinese people who want to apply for passports to travel overseas will be permitted to do so as of January 8.

According to Statista, 155 million Chinese tourists travelled abroad in 2019 before the pandemic. In 2020, its number fell to 20 million.

Many Chinese people who will now be free to travel abroad once more have welcomed the new regulations.

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Within hours after the announcement, the biggest online travel businesses in the nation reported an increase in traffic.

During the Chinese New Year, which starts on January 22, many individuals will be expecting to visit family and loved ones.

Many people have, however, also expressed their rage at the unexpected independence after years of restrictions.

“I’m delighted by it but also incomprehensible. Why did I have to endure all the daily Covid tests and lockdowns this year if we’re going to do this [reopening]?” stated Shanghai resident Rachel Liu.

She claimed that even though her family had been under lockdown for three months starting in April, almost everyone had recently had the illness.

She claimed that last week, all of her family members who reside in three different cities—Xi’an, Shanghai, and Hangzhou—including her parents, grandparents, and partner—all developed fevers.

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As Covid cases surge in China, many people have also expressed fear online about borders reopening.

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