China Slashes COVID Quarantine Time for International Travelers


Residents line up to get a throat swab at a testing site due to requirements for a negative COVID test in the last 72 hours to enter some buildings and using public transportation in Beijing, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China on Tuesday slashed the quarantine time for inbound travelers by half in a major easing of one of the world’s strictest COVID-19 curbs, which has deterred travel in and out of the country since 2020.

Quarantine at centralized facilities has been cut to seven days from 14, and subsequent at-home health monitoring has been reduced to three days from seven, the National Health Commission said.

The latest guidelines from the health authority also eased quarantine requirements for close contacts of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

China has cautiously eased its COVID curbs on cross-border travelers in recent months, with health officials saying the shorter incubation period of the Omicron variant allows for an adjustment of quarantine periods.

The Chinese capital Beijing in recent months has already reduced the quarantine period at centralized facilities to 10 days from 14.

China, last month, also removed some COVID-19 test requirements for people flying in from countries such as the United States. 

“We believe that today’s announcement will be welcomed by the American business community,” the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said on its official WeChat account.

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