More than 250,000 people crossed China’s borders on Sunday, the day China lifted the mandatory quarantine for foreign travelers, ending three years of self-imposed isolation.
According to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs, cited by the official newspaper China Daily, the Asian giant registered a total of 251,045 entries into the country from other countries and territories.
The figure is still a long way from the average of around 945,300 daily entries into the country recorded in the first quarter of 2019, according to data from the General Administration of Customs, cited by Bloomberg.
Nearly 400 ships, 325 flights, 6,323 trucks and 83 trains arrived in China on Sunday.
After about three years with some of the most severe restrictions in the world, which damaged its economy and ended up triggering protests at the national level, the Chinese authorities decided, at the end of December, to abruptly abolish most of the control measures of the pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The last step in the lifting of restrictions took place on Sunday, with the end of mandatory quarantines in designated hotels for all people arriving in the country since March 2020.
Initially three weeks, the duration of this quarantine had already been reduced to one week in the summer of 2022, then to five days in November.
The announcement of the end of the so-called “covid zero” policy and the mandatory quarantine led the Chinese to make plans to travel abroad, with an exponential increase in traffic on booking sites, advanced the France-Presse agency.
Following this Chinese decision to open its borders, more than a dozen countries, including Portugal, began to require travelers from that country to test negative for covid-19.
China is facing an unprecedented wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
In Henan, China’s third most populous province, 89% of the population had been infected with the new coronavirus as of Jan. 6, said Kan Quancheng, an official with the local health authority. This percentage represents about 88.5 million people.
Authorities expect a new wave of cases during the Lunar New Year, which falls on January 22 this year. This period, the main festival of Chinese families, is the biggest annual migration on the planet, as millions of Chinese return to their homelands.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, a total of 34.7 million trips were made on Saturday, the first day of the Lunar New Year travel season, an increase of 38.2% over the same day. from 2022.
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