China ending mandatory quarantine for travelers entering country

A passenger checks her phone as an Air China passenger jet taxi past at the Beijing Capital International airport in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. China will drop a COVID-19 quarantine requirement for passengers arriving from abroad starting Jan. 8. The National Health Commission announced the change Monday, Dec. 26, 2022 as part of the latest easing of China’s once strict virus control measures. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Chinese officials have announced they will lift the mandatory COVID-19 quarantine requirement for travelers entering the country. 

The mandatory quarantine measure implemented by the Chinese government will phase out on Jan. 8, multiple news outlets reported on Monday.

Since the start of the global pandemic in March 2020, travelers from other countries were required to enter a quarantine period upon entering the country. China reduced the quarantine from three weeks to one week and then to five days earlier this year.

Chinese officials plan on downgrading COVID-19 from a Class A infectious disease to Class B, meaning quarantine periods will not be needed. 

The latest change comes as China’s top health authority estimated that nearly 37 million residents were infected with COVID-19 on a single day last week, adding that 248 million people contracted the virus within the first 20 days of the month. 

Protests began in numerous Chinese cities in November as residents demonstrated against the country’s strict COVID-19 measures, which were blamed for slowing the response from authorities to tend to a deadly apartment fire in the city of Urumqi.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told officials to make “feasible” changes to the country’s COVID-19 measures in order to save lives, BBC News reported on Monday.

Tags China COVID-19 COVID-19 pandemic Quarantine Xi Jinping Xi Jinping

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