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China to drop COVID-19 quarantine requirement for incoming travelers

China's National Health Commission said Monday it will lift the quarantine requirement for travelers on January 8. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
1 of 3 | China's National Health Commission said Monday it will lift the quarantine requirement for travelers on January 8. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The Chinese government said it will not quarantine travelers upon arrival to its mainland starting Jan. 8 in another big step to unwind its "zero-COVID" lockdown policies.

Those traveling to mainland China since March 2020 have been required to quarantine in a designated hotel for 14 days. China's National Health Commission on Monday announced the lifting of that mandate.

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The government said it will also end tracking close contacts of COVID-19 patients, stop the designation of the coronavirus risk areas and cancel COVID-19 measures that hampered imports.

Zeng Guang, a former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said large-scale lockdowns and movement restrictions imposed by local governments will eventually no longer be issued.

The government said medical workers will still need to diagnose, report and manage all cases and isolate patients, as well as their close contacts, along with disinfecting places where the virus breaks out.

A Chinese health document set procedures to protect vulnerable groups and establishes triage systems to take care of severe cases, along with monitoring COVID-19 development in schools, nursery houses and rural areas where medical conditions are lacking.

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the Chinese government will at all levels redouble their effort to ensure people's access to medical services and anti-pandemic supplies, and safeguard people's lives and health.

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