China takes a U-turn on Covid restrictions

The controversy behind China’s reopening.

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Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, China has had some of the most intense travel restrictions, but now, the country is changing its tune. In two days, China has released back-to-back announcements that reveal the country has a whole new approach toward Covid-19.

Come January 8th, 2023, visitors will no longer be required to quarantine. Instead, they must show only a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours. Passport applications for Chinese citizens looking to travel abroad will also resume on that date. Both news announcements have been met with mixed feelings.  

Chinese citizens are busy booking trips

The recent announcement was met with great excitement among Chinese nationals, as China’s population of 1.4 billion people will be free to travel globally starting in January. Travel sites reported a major spike in traffic following the announcement.

Not everyone is excited for Chinese tourists

Following the announcement, Japan shared that all travelers from China are required to show a negative Covid test upon arrival, or quarantine for seven days. Just prior to Beijing’s easing of restrictions, India shared that tourists from certain countries, including China, must show a negative Covid test when they arrive. 

China is battling a new wave of infections

While the easing of travel rules in China has sparked excitement and hope among travelers, the country has seen an uptick in Covid-related hospitalizations, with reports noting that hospitals are overwhelmed with elderly people dying.

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