DALLAS — China announced plans to relax its zero-COVID travel restrictions, but the country is yet to be completely open.
China is the only country in the world that has maintained a zero-tolerance policy toward COVID-19. The Asian nation has imposed a “circuit breaker” flight ban since the outbreak began. The policy demands that airlines be penalized if they transport passengers infected with the coronavirus to China on an international flight.
An August 2022 policy update requires an airline to suspend a route for one week if more than 4% of passengers test positive for coronavirus, and two weeks if more than 8% of passengers test positive for the virus. Before the update, the thresholds for a one-week suspension were 5% and 10% for a two-week suspension.
China has now announced that it will end this policy, which is good news as many international airlines have yet to resume flights to China, and those that do often have very limited frequencies.
Restrictions on Travelers
Not only will airlines have it easier, but passengers traveling to China will also have some restrictions eased as China has also curtailed travel testing and quarantine.
In brief, China’s pre-departure test requirement is being reduced from two to one. Additionally, the arrival quarantine in a facility is being reduced from seven to five days, followed by three days at home.
China continues to relax travel and flight restrictions. Airlines will no longer face one- to two-week bans if they bring in passengers who test positive for COVID, and the traveler quarantine period in a facility is also being reduced from seven to five days.
Will these zero-COVID policy changes have some bearing on international travel to the country? Be sure to leave your comments on our social media channels!
Featured image: Beijing Daxing International Airport. Author: Zaha Hadid Architects. 王之桐, CC BY-SA 4.0