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End of the quarantine obligation: China's state media report a rush to travel portals


China is relaxing quarantine rules for travelers. Many Chinese are now looking forward to foreign flights again. Countries like the USA or Japan are skeptical - and are considering restrictions.

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Travelers at the airport in Beijing: More trips abroad will soon be possible again

Photo: Mark Schiefelbein/AP/dpa

China will soon no longer require corona quarantine from returnees from abroad.

This news makes many people happy in the People's Republic - and a rush to travel portals.

Online searches for flights abroad have increased rapidly, Chinese state media report.

The Chinese travel platform Tongcheng saw an 850 percent increase in searches for air travel and ten times as many searches for visa regulations.

At the competitor, the search queries have increased tenfold compared to the previous year.

Accordingly, trips to Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and South Korea met with particular interest.

From January 8, 2023, China will no longer require quarantine for people entering the country from abroad, but only a negative PCR test.

This will repeal a rule that has been in effect since the pandemic began almost three years ago.

In addition, all existing restrictions on international flights to China are to be lifted.

Hong Kong has now also announced far-reaching easing.

Apparently many millions of corona infections

China has classified Covid-19 as an infectious disease in the highest category A since 2020.

This put it on a par with other infectious diseases such as bubonic plague and cholera, which was one of the reasons for the strict corona measures.

And that included the quarantine rules for people entering the country from abroad.

But they no longer apply because Covid-19 is now downgraded to category B.

China's government under President Xi Jinping surprisingly abandoned its strict zero-Covid policy in December after nationwide protests and abandoned most of the corona rules.

Since then, there has been an uncontrolled contamination of the population.

China's health commission assumes 248 million new infections in the first three weeks of December, according to a leaked paper.

The US is considering entry restrictions for Chinese

Other countries are therefore cautious about the impending travel rush.

The US is considering entry restrictions for travelers from China.

The government is following "the science and the advice of health experts" and is considering steps "to protect the American people," government officials said in Washington.

In Japan, a test will be mandatory for all travelers from China from Friday.

Those who come from the People's Republic must be tested upon arrival in Japan, said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Those who test positive must isolate themselves in a designated facility for seven days.

Tokyo will also limit the number of flights from China.

In Germany, the Greens health expert in the Bundestag, Janosch Dahmen, advised calm.

Thanks to the vaccinations, Germany is "much better prepared for the winter today than it was in the past two years," Dahmen told the "Rheinische Post": "That also helps us with a view to the situation in China." The foreign policy spokesman for the Union faction, Jürgen Hardt (CDU) had called for all flight connections between Germany and the People's Republic to be stopped.

The Federal Ministry of Transport rejected the initiative.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-12-28

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