China welcomes first arrivals following downgraded COVID management


The first flights under China’s new COVID-19 management for international travelers arrived at airports in south China’s Guangdong province on Jan. 8, according to the national customs authority.

Over 380 passengers were aboard two flights, CZ312 from Toronto to Guangzhou and ZH9024 from Singapore to Shenzhen, on the day the country downgraded the management of COVID-19 to Class B and lifted certain restrictions on international passengers, a major shift of its epidemic response policies.

In a statement released by China’s National Health Commission (NHC) in December 2022, inbound travelers and goods would no longer be required to any quarantinable infectious disease control measures. Passengers simply need to take a nucleic acid test within 48 hours before departure, and they no longer need to request a health code from Chinese diplomatic and consular missions.

On the same day that the new management took place, Terminal 3-E of the Beijing Capital International Airport reopened for international arrivals. The airport’s Terminal 2 international arrival services have also resumed.

Operations in Terminal 3-D have been temporarily suspended, where all incoming travelers had to undergo a nucleic acid test and then be sent to quarantine facilities since March 10, 2020.

It is reported that the airport would handle ten passenger flights in and out on Jan. 8. To prepare for the anticipated increase in travel, relevant authorities, airlines, and airports have been stepping up efforts.

Security force and targeted operational training have been enhanced in the airport to cope with the increased passenger traffic since that day, serving for smooth international exchanges and economic and social development.

In the Terminal 3-E border checkpoints, the layout and facilities have been upgraded with a fresh appearance. “To ensure a better clearance experience for passengers after the resumption of flights, the Beijing frontier inspection authority has added 12 inspection channels and a waiting area at the border entry site, ” said Zhang Weitao with the authority.

According to Zhang, dedicated channels are set to make clearance simpler for special groups such as the elderly, young, disabled and pregnant women.

Following the new stage of China’s COVID-19 control, the country is also resuming passenger entry and exit at sea and land ports, with domestic and international tourism expected to increase as the Spring Festival holiday approaches.


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