China will remove quarantine requirements for inbound travelers from January 8th. This is as the country dismantles the remnants of a zero-Covid regime that has shut it down from the rest of the world for almost three years.
The National Health Commission on Monday made the move as part of a broader announcement that it downgraded the country’s control of Covid-19, the virus currently sweeping the country, and categorically abandoned many other precautionary measures. clarified.
The NHC said more than 90% of omicron variant cases are “mild or asymptomatic.”
The government also abolished the requirement for positive cases to be isolated at central facilities this month, and is now battling a severe winter outbreak with presumed cases. Spiral up to hundreds of millions Medical services under pressure.
The model is that the virus 1 million deathsbut China’s public data no longer reflects the situation on the ground, and other zero Covid rules such as mass testing have all but ended.
China pursued a strict zero-Covid policy soon after the pandemic first hit, locking down many of its largest cities for multiple years of that policy and limiting the number of foreign arrivals as part of an attempt to eliminate the virus within its borders. imposed quarantine requirements on
Later this year, the policy began to crumble as authorities struggled to contain the outbreak in several cities, including the capital Beijing. Protesters took to the streets in November in an unusual defiance of the central government’s approach. The central government’s approach relaxed dramatically shortly thereafter.
Monday’s announcement marks the end of a zero-Covid system that has transformed China’s relationship with the outside world and long-term success in limiting transmission of the virus that has swept all other developed nations.
At one point this year, quarantine arrival rules required travelers to spend three weeks in a hotel room. The current requirement of five days in a hotel and three days at home will end on January 8th.
The sudden lifting of restrictions is already putting significant pressure on China’s healthcare system. especially in Beijingwas one of the epicenters of the outbreak before the policy was abandoned and was considered one of the most prepared cities.
Recent economic data highlight the economic costs of the policy. Retail sales, a measure of consumer spending, fell 5.9% year-on-year in November, below analyst expectations and the economy is already missing its 5.5% annual growth target, the lowest in decades. increase.
But analysts also warn of the economic and corporate costs of the virus itself as it sweeps through the country. Apple is in a vulnerable position Take supply chain issues further.
Under the novel coronavirus zero, Chinese citizens were required to test every few days at booths in major cities and scan codes with their phones to enter buildings. Such practices have all but disappeared as cases have risen rapidly, but most recently he said that until late November, a Shanghai individual was a close contact of a positive case in a bar, so the Central Quarantine Service I was taken to