China reopens its borders after almost three years of operation of strict ‘covid zero’ restrictions

China It has been reopened this Sunday to the rest of the world after almost three years of closing borders by officially lowering the category of the covid from level A to B and thus marking in practice the end of the politics covid zero.

This change -from the level of maximum danger and for whose containment the most severe measures are required to one that contemplates a more lax control- allows travelers entering the Asian giant to do so without the mandatory quarantine imposed since March 2020.

This new situation occurs just one day after the beginning of the 40-day period known in Chinese as chunyunthe largest annual migration in the world, which occurs every year during the Lunar New Yearwhich in 2023 will fall between January 21 and 27, and is expected to bring tens of thousands of overseas Chinese citizens back to the country.

First international passengers without quarantine

The first flight that took advantage of the paradigm shift was CZ312, which linked the Canadian city of Toronto with Canton, to the south of the country.

The China Southern Airlines plane had a delay of 3 hours and 26 minutes with respect to its scheduled arrival time, which made it land in the Chinese city at 00:16 local time on Sunday (16:16 GMT on Saturday), according to the Flightaware air traffic portal.

This delay allowed its passengers to be the first to officially experience the new measures implemented and enjoy an entrance to the Asian giant without quarantine.

In beijingthe flight that landed at 03:58 local time (19:58 GMT on Saturday) was the first to arrive at the Beijing Capital International Airport at a Terminal 3 that reopened section 3-E to cope with all the flights scheduled for this Sunday.

As of March 10, 2020, passengers arriving in Beijing were required to enter the airport’s Terminal 3-D before undergoing a mandatory multi-day quarantine at a designated hotel.

Land border controls reopen

Not only those who arrive in the country by air benefit from the paradigm shift in China’s policy for the fight against the pandemic. The land border posts have also witnessed this Sunday the flow of people who have taken advantage of the end of the quarantines to enter the Asian giant.

At the Hekou checkpoint, which connects China with Vietnamthe border sees a return of commercial activity and many people showed up with flowers to the place to hug family and friends for the first time since 2020, reported the official newspaper Global Times.

In Erenhot, a city in the north of the country located in the Gobi Desert and bordering Mongoliathe first group of citizens passed through the largest land checkpoint between the two countries after 1,016 days since the ironclad policy of covid zero.

Similarly, tens of thousands of Hong Kongers They took advantage of the reopening of borders to enter China this Sunday through the different methods at their disposal, whether by sea, land or air.

Downgrade for covid-19

All of this is part of the downgrading of the classification for covid-19, which ceased to be a category A disease to become one of the category B starting this Sunday, as announced by the Chinese National Health Commission last December.

The change of category covers measures such as tests of voluntary PCR in national territory, classified diagnoses and treatment of the disease according to its severity.

In addition, the covid will be withdrawn from the management of infectious diseases that require quarantine, in accordance with the legislation of the Asian country.

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