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CHINA: to ditch negative COVID-19 test for entry from Wednesday 30 August 2023

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.

Cathay Pacific aircraft parked outside Alice Springs Airport, July 2022 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]
Cathay Pacific aircraft parked outside Alice Springs Airport, July 2022 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

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.

Terracotta Warriors, Xian, China [Schuetz/2PAXfly]
Terracotta Warriors, Xian, China [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

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.


  1. derek

    People need to rely on doctors and themselves for medical advice, not politicians. Politicians make political decisions based on politics or, at least, society, not for specific individuals.

    China was doing moderately well with their formerly strict policies but life was really tough with those policies. The politicians felt there was brewing dissent so they had to relax these measures. Of course, 2 million people died when they did. These new changes are consistent with the new policy of politics first. Most countries have politicians that have also followed politics first policies.

    The fact of the matter is that you, the individual have to look out for yourself. If you are getting old, such as 60 years old (and not wait to 80 years old), you put yourself at significant risk for Covid if strict measures are not followed. By strict measures, it’s N95 masks, up to date vaccination, and limiting contact with others. If you are middle aged, there is a real risk of long Covid. Those same measures of N95 masks, vaccination, and limiting contact applies but some risks may be taken for good reasons, such as for children to develop and for working.

    Flying on an airplane and traveling without masks shows very poor judgment and lack of medical understanding. It’s a tough and terrible situation that we’re in. That’s why China will never admit if they had an accidental lab leak (which is not known if that happened or the animal market is to blame. Only China knows).
    For everyone, indoor dining is risky. Going to the supermarket without wearing a N95 mask is downright stupidity because who are you trying to please at a supermarket? Trying to get a hot date at a supermarket?

      • derek

        I am not a strong supporter of the lab leak theory. The animal market theory is also very plausible. However, when there is a lack of transparency, the question then becomes “what are they trying to hide?” I believe the theory of a weaponized virus as a germ warfare vector has been discounted because there is not DNA fragments of vectors that are used to insert DNA. So the most evil of the 3 theories is not very likely.


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