China has eased its COVID-19 travel restrictions by lowering the time it prohibits incoming overseas flights with COVID-19 positive passengers.
From last Sunday, 7 August, if four percent of passengers on an inbound flight test positive for COVID-19, the airline will be suspended for one week, according to Chinese aviation authorities (CAAC). An airline’s route might be suspended for two weeks if an infection rate of 8 percent or more is detected on any given flight.
Previously, if the government detected five or more positive COVID-19 cases, the so-called circuit-breaker mechanism would halt all flights on that route for at least two weeks.
The CAAC stated that “relevant policies would be changed in due time according to the pandemic scenario and preventative and control requirements.”
According to the country’s aviation watchdog, Chinese airlines transported 117,000 passengers to other countries in June of 2022. During the same month in the previous year, 6.1 million people travelled internationally.
Quarantine and travel restrictions imposed by the global pandemic have made China one of the harshest places on earth. China Millions of Chinese have been put on lockdown due to the country’s strict zero-COVID policies.
Passengers trying to enter China face some of the most stringent restrictions in the world, notwithstanding China’s gradual relaxing of international travel regulations for international airlines.
On 28 June 2022, China reduced quarantine time for overseas passengers from 14 to seven days.
Countries in Asia-Pacific have lifted travel restrictions and opened their borders to fully vaccinated travellers beginning in February and March 2022; however, China continues to impose restrictions on travel. Passenger numbers on airlines from countries that have eased restrictions have surged dramatically.