DestinationsChina slashes quarantine period to seven days for inbound travellers amidst other eased measures.

Is China taking baby steps to a grand reopening?

China has also relaxed pre-departure testing requirements for certain countries.
China has also relaxed pre-departure testing requirements for certain countries. Photo Credit: GettyImages/zhuyufang

China has reduced the quarantine time for inbound travellers by half, in what is considered the country’s biggest move to ease up on its stringent Covid-19 measures imposed since the start of the pandemic.

The relaxed quarantine rule requires overseas visitors to undergo seven days of isolation at a designated hotel followed by three days of observation at home, instead of the previous 14 days hotel isolation and seven days home stay.

Prior to this announcement, several cities such as Beijing, have been piloting shorter quarantine periods of 10 days. China has also relaxed pre-departure testing requirements for travellers from select countries. Additionally, those applying for work or family visas from certain countries no longer require a government-issued letter of invitation.

In addition to the quarantine reduction, health authorities additionally decided to ease their risk classification criteria, making it easier for people to travel within the country.

So, do all these signal that China is moving towards its grand reopening? The answer according to Chinese officials, is no.

Despite the easing of health protocols, Chinese officials were reported as saying that the decision for the quarantine reduction does not indicate China’s reopening, but rather it’s based on the Omicron variant’s shorter incubation period. Both Beijing and Shanghai party chiefs corroborated that the country will still be pushing its zero-Covid-19 policy.

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