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The country has also cancelled the circuit breaker mechanism for inbound flights, and adjusted some COVID-19 control measures.

To adapt to the new epidemic situation, the Chinese government released a circular on 11 November 2022 to further optimise its COVID-19 prevention and control measures. The circular stressed the adjustments will continue to practice the general strategy of "preventing both imported cases and domestic resurgences", pursue the general policy of "dynamic zero-COVID", while minimising the impact on economic and social development.

Inbound travellers

  • Quarantine for inbound travellers will be cut to five days of quarantine at designated sites plus three days of home quarantine ('5+3'). Relevant persons are not allowed to go out, and are subject to multiple nucleic acid tests on:
    1. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 5 during quarantine at designated sites;
    2. Day 1 and Day 3 during home quarantine.
  • Inbound travellers, upon completion of quarantine at the first destination, will not be required to undergo quarantine again if they travel to another city.
  • The circuit breaker mechanism for inbound flights will be cancelled.
  • The negative COVID-19 tests requirement for inbound travellers will be reduced to once in 48 hours before boarding.
  • Those with cycle threshold values smaller than 35 in COVID-19 nucleic acid tests will be identified as positive cases.
  • Inbound "important business travellers and sports groups" will be directly transferred to closed-loop management areas, exempted from quarantine.

Social measures

  • Quarantine for close contacts will be cut to five days of quarantine at designated sites plus three days of home quarantine ('5+3'). Relevant persons are not allowed to go out, and are subject to multiple nucleic acid tests on:
    1. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 5 during quarantine at designated sites;
    2. Day 1 and Day 3 during home quarantine.
  • Secondary close contacts will no longer be identified.
  • The categories of COVID-19 risk areas will be adjusted to 'high' and 'low' to minimise personnel under quarantine or health monitoring.
  • Those who have visited high-risk areas will be subject to a seven-day home quarantine. Relevant persons are not allowed to go out, and are subject to nucleic acid tests on Day 1, Day 3, Day 5 and Day 7.
  • Those who have offered services at high-risk posts in areas under closed-loop management will undergo five days of health monitoring at home. Relevant persons are subject to nucleic acid tests on Day 1, Day 3 and Day 5. They should avoid going out unless necessary. If they need to go out, they must avoid going to crowded venues and should not take public transport.
  • In regions with no infections, COVID-19 nucleic acid tests should be conducted among people working in high-risk positions or in key groups according to the ninth edition of China's COVID-19 control protocols. Expanding test coverage is forbidden.
  • The policy is to advance vaccination in an orderly manner, and step up the coverage of booster vaccination, especially for the elderly.
  • Optimising COVID-19 prevention and control measures at campuses and ensuring relevant control measures are fully implemented at enterprises and in industrial parks.
  • Helping those stranded to return home in an orderly manner.

The circular stressed: "Optimising and adjusting the COVID-19 response measures does not mean loosening prevention and control against the virus, still less a lift of COVID-19 restrictions or 'lying flat' in the COVID fight."

"The move was made to adapt to the new situation of COVID-19 prevention and control and the new characteristics of the virus mutations to make the response more targeted and science-based, maximise the protection of people's safety and health, and minimise the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development," added the statement.


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