Easing of Quarantine Sparks Surge of Interest in China Travel

Funviralpark 1 year ago 0 5

Chinese and international airlines are reviewing their schedules and have been inundated with inquiries about travel to China following this week’s announcement that strict quarantine requirements will be lifted for travelers arriving early next month.

According to Chinese state-run media Beijing News and Kailian Press, data from Chinese travel website Ctrip showed searches for popular cross-border destinations including Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and the United States. I’m here. , a 10-fold increase within 30 minutes of Monday’s announcement.

Searches for outbound and group tours during the Chinese New Year increased sixfold.

According to Bloomberg, Hong Kong residents also searched the internet for flights to major mainland cities, with Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou being the most searched cities.

The decision to lift quarantine rules for inbound travelers comes after three years of strict international travel controls as part of the country’s signature zero COVID campaign.

China’s National Health Commission has announced that the new measures will begin on January 8th.

According to the NHC document, “People coming to China are required to undergo a nucleic acid test 48 hours before departure, and those with negative results can enter China without applying for a health code at overseas embassies or consulates. People who arrive in China with a negative nucleic acid test can “enter society.”

The new order also requires all provinces to “orderly resume outbound tourism for Chinese citizens.”

In response, the US airline United Airlines. European airline Lufthansa Group, which includes SWISS and Austrian Airlines. Philippine Airlines has announced that it is considering resuming additional flights to mainland China.

Staff at Lexiang, a travel agency in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York City, told VOA Mandarin that travel inquiries to China have increased by about 30%. She used only her surname Wang as she did not want to attract the attention of the Chinese authorities.

She said that since the announcement, dozens of people have contacted her to inquire about obtaining Chinese visas or booking flights to China.

Another Flushing Travel Agency staff member, who did not want to reveal his identity because he did not want to draw attention, told VOA Mandarin that more than a dozen people had contacted the agency for information on obtaining Chinese visas or COVID. – Information on travel to China since Monday’s announcement. In the past three years, there have been very few such inquiries.

He said most of the people who contacted the company were thinking of traveling to China not to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year, but to visit sick family members.

He said fares were still high because airlines hadn’t started adding flights, and China hadn’t resumed issuing multiple-entry visas, so people who wanted to travel were still unable to pack up and leave.

reactions vary

China’s decision has received mixed reactions from Chinese netizens on social media.

Some celebrated the end of quarantine rules. This paved the way for international travel.

“Long long nightmare, I finally woke up,” he commented.

“The silly era has finally come to an end,” said another commenter.

However, some commenters question whether the relaxation of regulations will repair the damage done in the last three years.

There is no such thing as “everything will go back to normal”. “The lives of countless people have been completely changed. They can only bite the bullet and live in this parallel timeline. It’s like breaking mirrors and then gluing them together. It’s not the same mirror as.” China’s version of Twitter, Weibo.

After three years of propaganda by the Chinese government claiming COVID-zero and highlighting the dangers of the virus, many netizens felt uncomfortable with the sudden “opening up”. They fear the move will exacerbate the current outbreak.

“Vikings of strains are coming,” wrote one commenter.

Some people think of viruses as bioweapons.

Many nationalists embrace the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus is a bioweapon developed by the United States to attack China. They fear that opening up China will make it easier for the US to strike again.

“It’s time to come to China to poison,” he said.

Some appear to be looking forward to a move that could spread the virus from China to other countries.

“Spread the virus all over the world!! Leave no one behind!” “Europe, America, Japan, Korea, and India! One by one! Don’t even think about running away!”

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