The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Tuesday announced an end to certain restrictions on international arrivals posed by the country’s “zero-COVID” policies that have been in place since 2020.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin outlined a six-part set of procedures that will be effective starting January 8. Inbound travelers will not be subject to nucleic acid COVID-19 testing or quarantine upon arrival, however they must now show a negative nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to their departure for China. Passenger capacity limits on international flights to China will also be lifted, as will restrictions on visa facilitation for foreigners traveling to China. The cargo-only policy at ports of entry will also be lifted, and outbound tourism for Chinese citizens will gradually resume.
The relaxation of restrictions on international travel come approximately two weeks after the National Health Commission of China announced its first easement of domestic COVID-19 restrictions, stepping away from the zero-COVID policy after anti-lockdown protests by those in opposition to the strict regulations.