Optimized COVID policy set to help recover the tourism Industry

BEIJING: Warm hugs, joyful tears, flowers… these are all common sights during family reunions at Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, which will fall on January 22 this year. Nevertheless, rather than being confined to celebrations at home, hugs, tears and flowers will be common sights at airports around the nation during the upcoming holiday, with an influx of inbound travelers arriving after China lifted its three-year-long COVID-19 travel restrictions on January 8.
At around 10:30 a.m. on that day, Beijing Capital International Airport welcomed the first group of cross-border travelers from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region–291 passengers on board Cathy Pacific flight CX334. Song Jiarong, a 23-year-old Beijing native working in Hong Kong, said she was happy to be one of the first inbound passengers set to arrive after the requirement to quarantine was dropped. Last year, Song had to transfer in Shenzhen in Guangdong Province and spent 21 days in quarantine before flying to Beijing, where she was required to quarantine again for several days.
The easing of restrictions was part of China’s latest policy adjustment to manage COVID-19 with measures designed for combating Category B, instead of the most severe Category A, infectious diseases. Chinese authorities have removed all quarantine requirements for inbound passengers, introduced policies to facilitate the resumption of international flights and resumed accepting applications from Chinese nationals for passports to travel overseas for tourism or to visit friends and family.
The country recorded 251,045 inbound passenger trips on January 8. It received 396 inbound ships, 325 flights, 6,323 trucks and 83 trains that day, according to the General Administration of Customs of China.
The first working day following the downgrading of COVID-19 management also saw a significant jump in the number of applicants for inbound and outbound travel documents nationwide.
“We’re optimizing the services we offer to foreigners in Beijing. For example, we’re increasing the number of venues where foreigners can apply for work or residence permits,” Ji Xiaowen, a staff member at the Exit-Entry Reception Hall of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (BMPSB) in Dongcheng District of the capital city, told the media on January 9. Another representative of the BMPSB Exit-Entry Administration Bureau said the agency will handle all applications in line with regular procedures.
–The Daily Mail-Beijing review news exchange item