This week, China has seen its highest covid-infections numbers for months, and where never-ending lockdowns and frequent testing have been the norm, has today decided to slightly reduce the quarantine requirement for international arrivals, including its own citizens.
The previous entry requirement was 7 days in a hotel/quarantine center followed by 3 days at home; that was rumored to be changing to 2 days in a hotel/quarantine followed by 5 days in a home. It has, however, changed to 5 days in a hotel/quarantine center + 3 days home confinement. This represents a reduction of two days of quarantine.
Airlines will also no longer be penalized if some of the passengers they bring to China turn out to be covid-positive.
Excerpt from Bloomberg:
The suite of changes is the furthest-reaching overhaul of China’s virus approach since the pandemic began, and potentially marks the beginning of the country’s move to rejoin a world that’s living with the virus. Chinese stock gauges extended a rally on the news, while the yuan strengthened and commodities surged.
While the reined-in rules still comprise the most onerous virus control regime in the world, the fact that the easing comes at a time when Covid cases nationwide have surged to a six-month high, with major outbreaks in Guangzhou and Beijing, reflect an unmistakable change in President Xi Jinping’s zero-tolerance stance.
At this speed, there might be no quarantine requirements to enter Mainland China sometime in 2024. However, eight days is still a long time and is a huge deterrent for anyone entering the country.
China botched the covid-response by insisting on keeping the zero covid-policy that is not possible. You cannot stop the spread of the virus; you mainly might be able to slow it down.
I guess this is merely the face saving measure for the president of China, which has so far backed the current response.