China leaves behind its ‘Covid Zero’ policy and reopens its borders after almost three years of isolation

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A Guradia Civil agent with a passenger arriving at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport from a flight from Chongqing (China), on January 3, 2023, in Madrid (Spain). Terminal 1 of the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport receives the second flight from China, after the entry into force of the resolution establishing health surveillance and control measures for travelers from this country. Passengers will have to undergo a control based on a documentary, visual and temperature review and a diagnostic test for active SARS-CoV-2 infection.

China opens its borders for the first time this Sunday after almost three years of isolation and takes another step towards the end of its ‘Covid Zero’ policy designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of this Sunday, China will not require a quarantine period for people arriving in the country, but it will continue to require a negative Covid-19 test carried out in the last 48 hours.

At this time, a wave of Chinese residents is expected to return to the country on their way home. Thus, the first preparations for the reopening of the borders of the Asian country have been seen.

According to the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’, the authorities have intensified their efforts at the borders of the city of Shenzhen pending the reopening with the neighboring region of Hong Kong, which has included carrying out drills, examining of the equipment and decoration of the stalls that will welcome the expected influx of passengers.

COVID-19 TESTS FOR PASSENGERS FROM CHINA

On the other hand, the explosion of Covid-19 cases in China, derived from the withdrawal of most of the restrictions imposed throughout the pandemic, has generated concern worldwide, leading countries around the world to impose new controls. for travelers from the Asian giant.

Thus, as China has begun to relax its restrictions, a greater number of countries have joined these weeks in requesting negative tests for travelers from China.

In this sense, Spain may deny entry to third-country nationals arriving on direct flights from any airport located in China from this week until February 15 if they do not provide a digital EU Covid Certificate or equivalent or negative diagnostic tests. based on public health reasons, according to a resolution on restrictions at foreign air borders of the Ministry of the Interior published this Wednesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

Similarly, at an urgently called meeting of the European Union’s Health Security Committee (HSC) in late December, EU member states agreed to maintain “active surveillance” in the face of the apparent explosion of coronavirus infections. in China, and from which came the commitment to keep in touch to examine possible joint initiatives.

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