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