China to Cancel Covid Quarantine Requirement for Inbound Visitors

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Taking a major step towards easing its border restrictions, the government of China will allow inbound travelers to enter the country without Covid-19 quarantine starting from 8 January, according to a statement from the Chinese National Health Commission.

Reuters reports that restrictions for Covid-19 would be reduced to Category B from the current top-level position of Category A as the disease has become less fatal and could soon become just a common respiratory infection, the health authority said in the statement.

Passengers on international flights are still required to have PCR testing within 48 hours before their departure and quarantine for five days at a government facility and isolate for three more days at home.

When this rule goes into effect in the first week of January 2023, the quarantine aspect and the limit on number of passengers on international flights would be scrapped but travelers would still have to take a PCR test before entering the country.

This change would also enable foreigners to visit China more easily for work and business-related-prospects and the government would be issuing necessary visas to facilitate the same as well.

The entry and exit procedures at China’s seaports would start to reopen slowly and outbound travel for Chinese nationals would also resume “in an orderly manner”.

As the Covid-19 restrictions for quarantine in China have been relaxed, this would allow Chinese tourists to travel to Laos via the Laos-China Railway in the southern region of China and resume international travel by air as well.

Laos also announced on Monday that COVID-19 vaccination proof and Rapid Antigen Test (ATK) for unvaccinated travelers would no longer be required to enter the country.