China to scrap COVID-19 quarantine for incoming passengers

BEIJING (AP) — China will drop a COVID-19 quarantine requirement for passengers arriving from abroad starting Jan. 8, the National Health Commission announced Monday in the latest easing of the country’s once-strict virus-control measures.

Currently, arriving passengers must quarantine for five days at a hotel, followed by three days at home. That is down from as much as three weeks in the past.

People coming to China will still need a negative virus test 48 hours before departure and passengers will be required to wear protective masks on board, an online post from the health commission said.

China abruptly dropped many of its pandemic restrictions earlier this month, sparking widespread outbreaks that have swamped hospital emergency rooms and funeral homes.

The move followed rare public protests against the restrictions, which have slowed the economy, putting people out of work and driving restaurants and shops out of business.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.