china covid policy
Beautiful modern city scenery at night in Shanghai © zhaojiankang

Many countries are in a huff because of China’s zero-COVID lifting plan that is happening soon.

China’s Zer0-COVID Lift Brings Back the Pandemic Restrictions

china's zero-COVID lift
Chinese citizens protesting against zero-COVID policy

After nearly three years of the uncompromising zero-COVID policy, which entails massive testing, quarantines, and strict lockdowns, China officially announced that all the regulations will finally be dropped on Jan 8, 2023. The borders will be opened fully; citizens can commute internationally again.

China's zero-covid
Medical staff disinfecting a community area in Shanghai

But this sends a ripple on a global scale. The following countries decide to reintroduce the pandemic travel restrictions;

  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • United States

For most of these countries, all passengers from China will need to show a negative PCR test before boarding. South Korea even goes so far as to require a mandatory rapid antigen test upon every China-based passenger’s arrival in addition to the pre-boarding PCR result.

covid travel restrictions 2023

Italy was the first European country to reimpose the restrictions due to the Milan incident; Half of Passengers on Two Flights From China Test Covid Positive in Milan – Bloomberg. And Sweden recently announced that it will implement the restrictions for all non-EU visitors, starting from Jan 7.

Likely, more countries will soon take a step in the same direction.

china travel ban
Air travelers wearing masks walk through departures hall

Who Supports China’s zero-COVID Pull-out?

Willie Walsh, the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stands firmly against reinstating the pandemic-level restrictions. He sees it as a ‘knee-jerk’ reflex and deems the action hostile, ineffective, and unnecessary.

Walsh believes that the situation now is massively different from the early days of the pandemic; we have tools and techs that can handle the spread of SAR-CoV2 at this current rate. Going back to the preliminary safety measures will only – in Walsh’s words – cut off international connectivity, damage economies, and destroy jobs.

On top of everything, outcasting one single nation for an issue that still affects many other counties is quite unreasonable.

china's zero-covid

Furthermore, some countries including Bulgaria, Poland, and New Zealand have come forward and firmly stated that they are not planning to bring back the pandemic measures.

(Check out; Etihad Announces New Route To Guangzhou, China – Travel Radar)

Do you agree with the reintroduction of these travel restrictions? Let us know in the comments below.