On Friday, China announced that it would shorten quarantine periods for incoming foreign visitors and abolish the contentious “circuit breaker” flight ban system for airlines that unintentionally brought COVID-positive travelers into the impoverished nation.
China has prohibited airlines from operating a specific route for one to two weeks if a predetermined number of passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival since the beginning of the pandemic.
The method has made booking flights to China riskier because they might be abruptly canceled. The majority of international flights from China have been canceled due to the stringent pandemic regulations, which also include severe quarantine guidelines.
China will stop using the flight ban circuit breaker policy and shorten the quarantine by two days, according to a statement from the National Health Commission that was reported by Bloomberg.
Currently, arriving passengers are required to quarantine for seven days in a designated hotel or government facility before spending an additional three days isolating at home.
Travelers will be required to quarantine for three days in a hotel and isolate for three days at home under the new quarantine regulations. This may be due to the fact that the most recent COVID-19 variants have much shorter incubation times than the original strain.
The list of 20 measures to loosen pandemic controls is the most significant since early 2020 and may indicate that China is looking to change its “Zero COVID” policy, which has essentially cut off its relations with the rest of the world.
Airlines anticipate a huge increase in bookings as a result of the changes, but it is likely that only Chinese citizens and students will find the measures announced on Friday appealing.