China to end quarantine requirements for foreign travellers
China has announced that its requirement for travellers arriving in the country to go into quarantine will end on 8 January, 2023. This is one of many steps taken bu the Chinese government to end the strict covid restrictions it had put in place as part of its zero-Covid policy.
Currently China is seeing an explosion in Covid-related infections and medical workers have said they are struggling to cope. President Xi Jinping urged officials to do what was "feasible" to save lives.
Since March 2020, all passengers arriving in China have had to undergo mandatory centralized quarantine. Under the new rules, Covid will be downgraded from a Class A infectious disease to Class B, meaning that quarantine will no longer be enforced.
Mr Xi is in a tough spot right now. He had to face public’s anger when he put strict restrictions in place initially, and now as the restrictions are being removed, the number of COVID cases in the country is rising sharply. Public anger over the president's handling of the pandemic is one of the areas in which he is most vulnerable.
China has stopped publishing Covid statistics, but it is thought thousands of people may be dying every day.