The Chinese government has removed the obligatory quarantine rule for travelers. China’s National Health Commission released a statement: “new coronavirus infection will no longer be included Quarantine infectious disease management stipulated in the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of the People’s Republic of China.”
China will stop requiring inbound travellers to go into quarantine starting from Jan. 8, the National Health Commission said on Monday in a major step towards easing curbs on its borders, which have been largely shut since 2020.China’s management of COVID-19 will also be downgraded to the less strict Category B from the current top-level Category A, the health authority said in a statement, as the disease has become less virulent and will gradually evolve into a common respiratory infection.
Three years of zero-tolerance measures, from shuttered borders to frequent lockdowns, have battered China’s economy, fuelling last month the mainland’s biggest show of public discontent since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.
But China made an abrupt policy U-turn this month, dropping nearly all of its domestic COVID curbs in a move that has left hospitals across the country scrambling to cope with a nationwide wave of infections.
This is happening at a time when China is getting about a million covid cases and five-thousand covid deaths every day, as we read in Bloomberg:
China is likely experiencing 1 million Covid infections and 5,000 virus deaths every day in what is expected to be the biggest outbreak the world has seen, according to a new analysis from Airfinity Ltd., a London-based research firm.
With such high infection rates, due to Chine lifting its strict quarantine rules (as a response to massive anti-covid rules riots), there are now concerns about a new variant of covid popping up. “We know that anytime the virus is spreading in the wild that it has the potential to mutate and to pose a threat to people everywhere,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday. The same Bloomberg article talks about how in the midst of this virus surge in China the US is relaxing measures against covid:
The US government is preparing to drastically reduce its role in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic even as an explosion of cases in China is raising fresh concern about the virus within the Biden administration.
Spending legislation that Congress is poised to send to President Joe Biden this week includes no new funds for vaccines, testing or treatments. The White House has signaled that Biden — who has declared the pandemic “over” — would sign the bill even though lawmakers spurned his request for $9.25 billion to keep shots and medications free.
The shift, driven by congressional penny-pinching, marks a political, economic and public health gamble.
The US Department of State has announced that all immigrant visa services in China have been suspended due to the covid surge:
The U.S. embassy in Beijing and the U.S. consulate general in Shanghai are further limited to providing passport and emergency services for U.S. citizens. Additionally, the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, which is the only U.S. consulate in China that processes immigrant visas, has confirmed all immigrant visa services have been suspended and all existing visa appointments have been canceled. Applicants for nonimmigrant visas may reschedule their appointments on the U.S. consulate’s visa appointment website.
People in the US can still travel to China, which of course is cause for concern that another covid wave will cover the earth.