Following yesterday’s news on reduced quarantine times, China has made another big announcement related to COVID policy – this time in relation to the Travel Code app (行程卡 – the one that can turn from green to yellow or red depending on your recent travel history).
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced at 3pm today, June 29, that the star symbol would no longer appear on the app.
Previously, users with the star on their travel codes would see a message stating that cities in their recent travel history included mid- and or high-risk areas, but that said user had not been to those specific risk areas.
The star at the bottom of the screen indicating user's travel history to a city with mid- and or high-risk areas. Image via Weibo/@扬子晚报
For example, someone traveling from a low-risk area in Shanghai – when mid- or high-risk areas are present in the city – would have a green travel code accompanied by a star and a message at the bottom of the app.
The recent news came as a surprise to users in Beijing and Shanghai, cities which still have one high-risk area and eight mid-risk areas, respectively.
So what does this mean?
Traveling around China will become a little easier, if you have recent travel history to a low-risk area of a city in which COVID risk areas are present.
It may signal that China is laying the groundwork for ‘living with the virus’ – though we’re not there yet, of course.
A number of other policy changes have indicated China is heading in this direction, including relaxing of pre-departure testing requirements…
… the lifting of PU letters…
… and just yesterday (June 28), the announcement that quarantine for all overseas arrivals to China will be reduced to ‘7+3’ (seven days in centralized quarantine plus three days of ‘health monitoring’ at home)...
For those of us longing for China to open up, we can only hope that soon enough there’ll be a few more flights into the country at non-extortionate prices.
[Cover image screengrab via That's/Alistair Baker-Brian]