While the Chinese mainland continues to battle outbreaks of the COVID-19 Omicron variant at home, there have been recent signs that entry into China from abroad continues to ease.
Chinese embassies in a number of countries – including the United States – have updated rules regarding COVID-19 for those headed to China.
Screengrab via Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America
The key change?
Many inbound travelers are no longer required to undergo testing seven days prior to travel.
However, most inbound travelers will still need to complete one nucleic test 48 hours before travel, and another 24 hours before travel.
Inbound travelers will also be required to undertake an antigen test 12 hours before departure.
In many cases, IgM blood tests are also no longer required.
NOTE: Entry requirements differ by country; be sure to double check specific entry requirements with your nearest Chinese embassy or consulate before arranging travel to China.
The news comes as China begins reducing quarantine time for inbound travelers.
In mid-April, the southern Chinese port city of Xiamen, Fujian province announced that it would trial a ‘10+7’ policy i.e. 10 days in centralized quarantine and seven days of ‘health monitoring’ at home, as opposed to a minimum of 14 days of centralized quarantine and seven days of ‘health monitoring.’
Beijing later announced that it would follow Xiamen’s lead in implementing the ‘10+7’ policy.
The policy has a few caveats, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
China continues to pursue its ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ policy which seeks to eliminate the spread of the virus rather than ‘live with it.’
That’s not going to change anytime soon, given recent domestic outbreaks. However, with the latest changes to international travel, perhaps getting back to ‘normal’ is not so far down the road.
[Cover image via Weibo/@新社会]