Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Jubilant Chinese Rush To Plan Trips Abroad With Covid Quarantine To End

Jubilant Chinese Rush To Plan Trips Abroad With Covid Quarantine To End

In a snap move late Monday, China said that from January 8 inbound travellers would no longer need to quarantine, as it further unwinds hardline virus controls that had torpedoed the economy and sparked nationwide protests.
People in China reacted with joy and rushed to plan trips abroad Tuesday after Beijing said it would scrap mandatory Covid quarantine for overseas arrivals that will end almost three years of self-imposed isolation.

In a snap move late Monday, China said that from January 8 inbound travellers would no longer need to quarantine, as it further unwinds hardline virus controls that had torpedoed the economy and sparked nationwide protests.

Infections have surged nationwide as key pillars of the containment policy have fallen away, with authorities acknowledging the outbreak is "impossible" to track and doing away with much-maligned case tallies.
Beijing also narrowed the criteria by which Covid fatalities are counted last week, a move experts said would

suppress the number of deaths attributable to the virus.

Still, many Chinese reacted with joy to the end of restrictions that have kept the country largely closed off to the world since March 2020.

"I felt like the epidemic is finally over... The travel plans I made three years ago may now become a reality," said Beijing office worker Fan Chengcheng, 27.

A Shanghai resident surnamed Chen said the policy shift "felt like someone has pressed the button to end the movie", adding that it would allow her parents in Britain to visit her more easily.

"Finally, China's going back to normal," she told AFP. "It shows there are people who still care about global commerce and the impact on the Chinese economy."

Another Shanghai local, surnamed Du, said a swifter reopening may help the country reach so-called herd immunity more quickly, adding that there was "no way to avoid" the virus in the eastern megacity.

Online searches for flights abroad surged on the news, with travel platform Tongcheng seeing an 850 percent jump in searches and a ten-fold spike in enquiries about visas, according to state media reports.

Rival platform Trip.com Group said the volume of searches for popular overseas destinations rose by 10 times year-on-year within half an hour of the announcement.

Users were particularly keen on trips to Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and South Korea, it added.

But some Chinese may face hurdles when they do go abroad, with Japan announcing that it would require Covid tests on arrival for travellers from mainland China from Friday.

Rising cases in China, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, were "causing growing concern in Japan".

Beijing's foreign ministry said Tuesday that countries should uphold "scientific and appropriate" disease controls that "should not affect normal personnel exchanges".

'Relief'

The Chinese announcement effectively brought the curtain down on a zero-Covid regime of mass testing, strict lockdowns and long quarantines that has roiled supply chains and buffeted business engagement with the world's second-largest economy.

"The overwhelming view is just relief," said Tom Simpson, managing director for China at the China-Britain Business Council.

"It brings an end to three years of very significant disruption."

An uptick in international trade missions is now expected for next year, he told AFP, although the full resumption of business operations is likely to be "gradual" as airlines slowly bring more flights online and companies tweak their China strategies for 2023.

The EU Chamber of Commerce in China also welcomed the move, saying it will "potentially boost business confidence" and allow executives and workers to travel more freely.

All passengers arriving in China have had to undergo mandatory centralised quarantine since March 2020. That decreased from three weeks to one week in June, and to five days last month.

The end of that rule in January will also see Covid-19 downgraded to a Class B infectious disease from Class A, a formal distinction that allows authorities to adopt looser controls.

Some entry restrictions will remain however, with China still largely suspending the issuance of visas for overseas tourists and students.

Beijing said Tuesday it would "continue to adjust its visa policy for foreigners visiting China in a scientific and dynamic manner in accordance with... the epidemic situation".

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing that China would "optimise" arrangements for foreign nationals seeking to return to work, conduct business, study abroad or visit relatives.

Winter surge

The government and state media have sought to portray an image of measured calm as Covid finally washes across the country.

But officials in several major cities have said hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have been infected in recent weeks.

Hospitals and crematoriums have been full with patients and victims, according to independent reporting by AFP and other media.

Some studies have projected around one million people could die in China from Covid over the next few months.

The government announced last week that it would effectively stop recording the number of people who were dying of Covid.

And the National Health Commission said Saturday it would no longer publish daily case figures, after they were widely criticised as inaccurate.

Authorities were using data from online surveys, hospital visits, demand for fever medicines and emergency calls to "make up for shortcomings in (officially) reported figures", disease control official Yin Wenwu said at a press briefing Tuesday.

The winter surge comes ahead of major public holidays next month in which hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel to their hometowns to reunite with relatives.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
London's Iconic British Telecom Tower Sold To Become Hotel
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
BVI Freedom Song
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Russia Claims UK Cultural Agency Spied for Ukraine
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Hello Dolly
New video
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Yes He Can
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
Unforgettable
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
The Lord's Prayer
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
Siyahamba
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Ramblin' Rose
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Common, John Legend - Glory
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
BVI Freedom Song
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
Hello Dolly
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Yes He Can
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Unforgettable
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
The Lord's Prayer
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
Siyahamba
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
×