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China lifts travel quarantine for overseas travelers

China removed the quarantine regulations for incoming travellers on Sunday, ending nearly three years of self-imposed exclusion even as the nation deals with an increase in Covid cases.

The first arrivals were relieved to not have to endure the torturous quarantines that were a regular part of life in zero-Covid China. And in the next eight weeks, more than 400,000 individuals were expected to cross the border into mainland China from Hong Kong, where it had been closed for years.

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Beijing started a dramatic deconstruction of the strict zero-Covid plan, which had imposed obligatory quarantines and harsh lockdowns, last month.

The second-largest economy in the world was significantly affected by the policy, which also caused widespread dissatisfaction throughout society and resulted in widespread protests immediately before it was lifted.

Chinese citizens hurried to book vacations abroad, driving up enquiries on well-known travel websites following last month’s announcement by authorities that the restriction would be lifted.

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But as the world’s most populous country fights its worst-ever outbreak, the anticipated increase in travellers has prompted more than a dozen nations to mandate Covid tests for visitors from that country.

Despite continuing to primarily exclude foreign tourists and international students from entering the country, China has branded travel restrictions imposed by other nations “unacceptable.”


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