China to scrap Covid-19 quarantine rules for inbound travellers in weeks

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By Euronews  with AFP
Covid-19 controls in China
Covid-19 controls in China   -   Copyright  AP

China has announced it will scrap its quarantine rules for inbound travellers from 8 January, as the government continues to roll back years of ultra-strict Covid-19 restrictions that closed it off from the rest of the world for almost three years.

The move will see the country reopened for people with student or work visas, and also allow Chinese citizens to travel abroad.

Despite a surge in Covid cases since Beijing began easing Covid-19 restrictions, the liberalisation is generally being welcomed.

"When it was announced, I felt that the epidemic was finally over. The travel plans I made three years ago may finally become a reality," Beijing resident Fan Chengcheng said.

"From what I understand, the virus is still highly contagious," Shanghai resident Du said.

"So there's no way we can avoid getting it. If we open up sooner, then maybe we will have herd immunity sooner. I don't think that's a bad thing."

The number of cases of Covid-19 has soared since the government began easing restrictions. There are reports that hospitals in some regions are overwhelmed, with intensive care units full to capacity, and general wards have been converted to emergency units to cope.

However, the true number of cases and deaths in China is not known as the government has stopped releasing Covid data.

For more watch Euronews' report in the video above.