Authorities Respond to '2+3' Quarantine Policy Rumors

By Sophie Steiner, December 21, 2022

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While Weibo and Xiaohongshu have been riddled with rumors of a reduced quarantine policy for inbound travelers returning to the Chinese mainland, both the Chengdu local government and CDC have confirmed that the current quarantine policy for inbound flights of '5+3' (five days centralized quarantine + three days home isolation) remains unchanged. 

The rumor stems from a reporter who found several people that had recently entered Chengdu and were quarantined in a hotel, but received notice on their third day that they could return home. However, in these instances, those allowed to complete their quarantine at home had to sign a commitment agreeing to complete eight full days of quarantine, the remainder of which would be at their place of residence.

Image via Sina News

The Chengdu Epidemic Prevention hotline confirmed that they are trialing a two-day hotel quarantine plus six-day home isolation in certain instances, but they have not applied this across the board to all inbound travelers, nor is it an officially recognized policy nationwide. 

At a recent press conference, Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission, did state that measures for inbound travelers will be gradually accelerated in accordance with laws and regulations and further optimized and improved, but he did not mention specific timing for when these changes will come into effect. 

Today, December 21, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Mi Feng’s statement in a regular press conference. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said that China will provide more convenience for cross-border personnel exchanges as needed to continue to maintain the stability of global industry supply chains. 

At present, while some hotels in Chengdu are trialing a policy of two days centralized quarantine plus six days home isolation (maintaining the same total number of eight quarantine days as the current nationwide policy mandates), other cities have not adjusted the number of days of centralized isolation for inbound travelers at this time. 

[Cover image via NIAID-RML]

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