BEIJING: China on Tuesday (Jun 28) slashed the quarantine time for inbound travellers by half in a major easing of one of the world’s strictest COVID-19 curbs, which have deterred travel in and out of the country since 2020.
Quarantine at centralised facilities has been cut to seven days from 14, and subsequent at-home health monitoring has been reduced to three days from seven, the National Health Commission said in a statement.
The latest guidelines from the health authority also eased quarantine requirements for close contacts of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus.
China has cautiously eased its COVID curbs on cross-border travellers in recent months, with health officials saying the shorter incubation period of the Omicron variant allows for an adjustment of quarantine periods.
The Chinese capital Beijing in recent months has already reduced the quarantine period at centralised facilities to 10 days from 14.
China, last month, also removed some COVID-19 test requirements for people flying in from countries such as the United States.
Stock markets rose in Hong Kong and China, with the Hang Seng Index reversing losses and ticking up roughly 0.4 per cent and the CSI300 Index gaining 0.7 per cent.
Shares in Chinese tourism companies jumped more than 5 per cent.
IN THE CLEAR
Beijing and Shanghai reported on Tuesday no new local COVID-19 infections, the first time both cities were in the clear simultaneously since late February, after months of fighting their worst-ever outbreaks.
The milestone for the two cities, achieved on Monday, came after their daily caseloads dropped to single digits over the past week, allowing Shanghai to gradually resume eating in at restaurants and Beijing to reopen some leisure venues including the Universal Beijing Resort.
Shanghai Communist Party chief Li Qiang declared on Saturday that authorities had “won the war to defend Shanghai” against COVID-19, after a crushing two-month citywide lockdown that was finally lifted in early June.
The Walt Disney Co’s Shanghai Disney Resort said on Tuesday that it would reopen the Disneyland theme park on Jun 30; it had been shut for more than three months.