China to End COVID Requirements for Travelers in 2023

China has announced it will remove its quarantine requirement for travelers as of January 8.

  • China announced Monday it will be dropping its mandate requiring all inbound travelers to quarantine upon arrival in the new year.
  • The National Health Commission made the announcement as the country attempts to ease measures to control the virus.
  • Under current orders, all incoming passengers are required to quarantine at a hotel for five days, as well as an additional three days once they get home.
  • Prior to the most recent change, visitors coming to China needed to quarantine for up to three weeks.
  • A post from China’s health commission stated that anyone visiting the country must still test negative 48 hours before departing and wear a mask while on board their flight.
  • After nearly three years of lockdowns and mandatory quarantining, China has become the last major economy in the world to ease up on COVID restrictions.

“I’m happy about it but also speechless. If we’re doing this [reopening] anyway – why did I have to suffer all the daily Covid tests and lockdowns this year?” Shanghai resident Rachel Liu said.

  • Last month, angry protesters took to the streets calling for China’s Xi Jinping to resign after enforcing strict anti-virus measures for nearly three years.
  • Chinese authorities eased some rules but affirmed their severe “zero COVID” strategy following the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades.
  • “Zero COVID,” which aimed to isolate every infected person with the virus, helped to keep China’s case numbers lower than those of other major countries but confined millions of people to their homes for up to four months, leaving its people without a lack of reliable food and medical supplies.
  • The ruling party newspaper People’s Daily said its anti-virus strategy has been carried out effectively, indicating Xi’s government has no plans to end it completely.
  • “Facts have fully proved that each version of the prevention and control plan has withstood the test of practice,” a People’s Daily commentator wrote.