China cancels its circuit breaker measures for inbound flights
Updated 10:11, 13-Nov-2022
People wait in line for a nucleic acid test in Beijing, November 8, 2022. /CFP
People wait in line for a nucleic acid test in Beijing, November 8, 2022. /CFP

People wait in line for a nucleic acid test in Beijing, November 8, 2022. /CFP

China has reduced the quarantine requirements for inbound travelers and cancelled what is known as a circuit breaker scheme for flights in a bid to "optimize" its COVID-19 prevention measures, China's National Health Commission (NHC) announced on Friday.

The easing for inbound travelers, as well as a number of COVID-19 policy adjustment in the country, doesn't mean China will give up its efforts to protect its people but is designed to streamline the measures to better control the outbreaks while ensuring normal economic and social activities as much as possible, the health regulator said in the document.

The change is in line with the policy highlights stated at the Communist Party of China's 20th National Congress, it added.

In addition, the pre-departure COVID-19 tests requirement for inbound travelers will be reduced from twice in 48 hours to once.

Inbound travelers with a cycle threshold value (CT value) of nucleic test below 35 should be deemed "positive," and a risk assessment should be carried out on individuals whose CT value is between 35 and 40 after centralized isolation is lifted, according to the announcement.

Quarantine for inbound travelers will be cut to five days of centralized quarantine and three days of home quarantine, from seven days of centralized quarantine and three days of in-home health monitoring previously, according to the announcement.

Nucleic acid testing should be conducted on the first, second, third and fifth days of centralized quarantine, and on the first and third days of home quarantine.

A similar shortening of quarantine rules was made for close contacts.

A further requirement was made on determining close contacts in a timely and accurate manner, and individuals will no longer be deemed as close contacts if they come into contact with COVID-19 close contacts.

The risk areas will be adjusted from the three categories of "high, medium and low" to the two categories of "high and low."

Nucleic acid testing won't be carried out according to administrative region, but only when the source of infection and transmission chain are unclear and the transmission time in the community is long and the epidemic situation is unclear.

The NHC also stated that local governments shouldn't take these measures as a one-size-fits-all approach.

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