Later this week, China will ease travel restrictions currently affecting inbound international passengers. The upcoming change in policy will mean that those entering the country from abroad will no longer be required to present a negative coronavirus test result in order to pass through the country’s borders.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, China has consistently been one of the countries imposing severe restrictions. This has been a by-product of the country’s coronavirus eradication policy, which has greatly affected daily life within the People’s Republic, in addition to limiting domestic travel for international travelers.
However, Wednesday will mark an important milestone in China’s return to air travel as we knew it before the global health crisis began. This is because from August 30, the country will no longer require incoming international travelers to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test result in order to enter the country.
According to AP News, the change was announced today by Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This amendment ends more than three years of severe restrictions on airline passengers entering the country from abroad, and comes nine months after the lifting of the Corona virus eradication policy.
The tests have been a source of controversy
During the height of the pandemic, we are all used to having to provide proof of vaccination and/or a negative test result in order to travel internationally. In some cases, quarantine on arrival has also been required, with different countries implementing this policy at varying levels of length and strictness.
However, in the past year or so, travel restrictions have become much less prevalent, making the world of commercial aviation look more like it did before the onset of the global health crisis. In fact, Travel Off Path magazine reported that there were 164 restrictions-free zones in April, with the number rising to 206 this month.
Image: Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock
However, China has generally been the exception to this rule, as it kept its restrictions while other countries dropped theirs. This has been so controversial at times that in April the Council on Foreign Relations implored the nation to drop the 48-hour testing rule. She said China was only demanding the tests for geopolitical reasons, as the practice reportedly lacked evidence of its effectiveness.
One of the many recent milestones
The policy change is the latest in a number of recent milestones that underscore China’s intentions to get the commercial aviation industry back on track as it recovers from the effects of the pandemic. For example, last week saw the first scheduled flight from Wuhan to London in the post-COVID-19 era. The country is also close to delivering Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after re-certification.
What do you think of this change in policy? Are you more likely to visit China as a result? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.