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China further streamlines procedures for international arrivals
Published on: 2022-07-06
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After halving the collective quarantine time for international inbound travelers, China made another major adjustment for this group of people by streamlining procedures for those coming to the Chinese mainland. The policy has prompted a huge increase in flights connecting China with other countries, especially the US, and the number of people travelling out of the country. Those policy changes were seen by experts as a sign of China further re-opening its borders to the world.

Those signs combined are good news for those longing for a rapid resumption of people-to-people exchange, with students swarming back home, think tanks making trips to other countries and the tourism industry yearning for a possible comeback for overseas travel.

China has made one of its most substantial adjustments since the COVID-19 pandemic, as its embassies and consulates in 125 countries announced policies to streamline procedures for people entering the Chinese mainland. Those changes include cancelling the requirement for an antigen test 12 hours before boarding.

The latest was the Chinese embassy in Japan, which simplified the visa application process on Monday.

The Chinese embassy in the US last week announced a change of policy on entry restrictions for US citizens, and travelers with valid negative COVID test results looking to enter the Chinese mainland may now apply for and receive a green health code for travel from the US and a third country.

The Chinese embassy in Russia announced on Monday that the number of commercial flights from Russia to China will increase to eight a week from the previous two a week.

China has also loosened the same restrictions recently for travelers from other countries, most of which took effect in early July. Last week, the country also halved the collective quarantine time for international arrivals to seven days from the previous 14 days. The slew of policy changes has prompted an increase in flights, with airline companies racing against each other to resume international flights with China.

China is scheduled to have 2,025 inbound passenger flights from Monday to the end of this month, a 24 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021, according to VariFlight.

There have been no regular routes between China and India since November 2020, and no planes in the coming month in July, although there were some fixed passenger trips several months earlier.

More airlines including China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines have announced a resumption of international routes or increased frequency of flights.

Air China said it will resume a number of international routes to cities in Europe and Asia in July, including Beijing to Dubai round trip.

China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines will fly 22 international routes per week in July, including from Shanghai to New York.

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