CHINA: to ditch negative COVID-19 test for entry from Wednesday 30 August 2023
From Wednesday, 30 August, you will no longer be required to test negative before entering China.
China is also ending quarantine requirements for its citizens travelling from abroad. It has also slowly added to the list of countries to which Chinese citizens can travel. An increase in international flights has followed.
China ends Zero COVID
Last December, China ended most of its internal COVID restrictions after a totalitarian zero-tolerance approach, which resulted in strictly enforced lockdowns. Incoming travellers had to isolate for weeks at a time in government-designated hotels. Residents were forcibly locked into their homes to control the spread of the pandemic.
In an unusually direct challenge to government policy, protests against the strict restrictions broke out in major centres like Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. These challenges to the policy in November, resulted in the sudden relaxation of restrictions in December.
The result was a wave of infection for which the health infrastructure was ill-prepared. Some authorities estimate the radical change in policy may have caused up to 2 million additional deaths in the first two months of 2023. Officially only 60,000 deaths occurred in the month after the lifting of restrictions.
The expectation is that Chinese airlines will increase their flights to and from China very soon. Overseas should increase their flights to China too. But with limited aircraft, and supply chain restrictions, the main running will be left to Chinese carriers, which have plenty of idle capacity, and the engineering capability to return planes to service.
China has already applied for increased services to North America, including the USA and Canada. US airlines also plan to double flights to China by the end of 2023. Even Air Koryo – North Korea’s national airline and possibly the world’s worst has returned to flying to China.