China Ends Absurd Coronavirus Flight Ban Policy

China Ends Absurd Coronavirus Flight Ban Policy

26

China is the only country in the world continuing to pursue a zero-tolerance approach toward coronavirus. The country has announced plans to ease a couple of travel-related restrictions, though China is still a long ways off from being “open.”

China ends “circuit breaker” coronavirus flight ban

Since the start of the pandemic, China has had a “circuit breaker” flight ban policy. The way this works, airlines are penalized if they bring passengers with coronavirus to China on an international flight:

  • Under the current policy, an airline has to suspend a route for one week if more than 4% of passengers test positive for coronavirus, and has to suspend a route for two weeks if more than 8% of passengers test positive for coronavirus
  • This policy was eased in August 2022, as previously the thresholds were 5% for a one week suspension, and 10% for a two week suspension

It has now been announced that China will be ending this policy, which seems justified:

  • It’s ridiculous to blame airlines for importing coronavirus cases, when their testing requirements are simply in line with what the country requires
  • In some ways this policy is a moot point, since many international airlines haven’t resumed flying to China, and for that matter the airlines that do have service often have very limited frequencies

This will certainly eliminate a major headache for airlines flying to & from China.

Interestingly Hong Kong had a similar flight ban policy, where in the first six months of 2022, over 100 bans were put in place. Fortunately this policy ended as of July 2022.

China’s coronavirus flight ban policy is ending

China cuts travel testing & quarantine

It’s not just airlines that will have it a bit easier, but passengers traveling to China will also have restrictions dialed back a bit:

  • The pre-departure test requirement for China is decreasing from two to one
  • The arrival quarantine in a facility is being cut from seven days to five days, followed by another three days of home isolation

While this is a step in the right direction, it goes without saying that China is still a long ways off from broadly reopening its borders. Also keep in mind that while travel restrictions are being eased somewhat, that doesn’t change the fact that the country continues to impose lockdowns when cases reach a certain threshold, and day-to-day life most definitely isn’t as it was pre-coronavirus.

One certainly has to wonder if China ever intends to reopen to the rest of the world. Because if so, I’m not sure what exactly China is waiting for.

The quarantine period is being reduced for travelers

Bottom line

China is continuing to ease some travel and flight restrictions. Most significantly, airlines will no longer face bans of one to two weeks if they transport passengers who end up testing positive for coronavirus. The quarantine in a facility is also being lowered from seven days to five days. All of this is better than nothing, but likely won’t make a material difference in peoples’ decision to travel to China.

What do you make of China (sort of) easing travel restrictions?

Conversations (26)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. iamhere Guest

    A couple of other comments. Regarding the vaccines regardless of how effective they are, many are not vaccinated because of the zero COVID policy. If the authorities will control COVID in this way then many do not think there is a reason for the vaccine. Then there are those that do not trust the local vaccine. There is discussion after the German leader visited China regarding the BioNtech vaccine coming to China, but we will...

    A couple of other comments. Regarding the vaccines regardless of how effective they are, many are not vaccinated because of the zero COVID policy. If the authorities will control COVID in this way then many do not think there is a reason for the vaccine. Then there are those that do not trust the local vaccine. There is discussion after the German leader visited China regarding the BioNtech vaccine coming to China, but we will see about when, who will have access, etc.

    What is also not covered is the difficult for Chinese to leave China. This certainly has or will have an impact on the opening policies and on the flight demands, pricing, etc. There are also a number of ways to obtain a cheaper airfare to China or to have a more desirable quarantine experience - basically it depends where you change planes or fly into.

  2. iamhere Guest

    Your post is only about the policies for entering China. You do not address the policies within China that changed which is equally important. Keep in mind that it is not just about entering China for COVID controls but also within. I can go into detail about this if requested.

    The three days at home is also not an automatic right. Your place of living needs to meet certain conditions and you need multiple...

    Your post is only about the policies for entering China. You do not address the policies within China that changed which is equally important. Keep in mind that it is not just about entering China for COVID controls but also within. I can go into detail about this if requested.

    The three days at home is also not an automatic right. Your place of living needs to meet certain conditions and you need multiple levels of government approval. Most people are not approved. If you do not have a residence in China or in the place you are arriving to you certainly will have to do the whole time in the "hotel.

    You also do not mention the other side of this which is visas. If you hold a tourist or business visa that was issued before the pandemic you will not be able to use it to enter. China is starting to issue a limited number of business visas, but mostly are issuing study, work, and family reunion. Tourism is not encouraged yet.

    Surprised given your views on things that you did not mention the "leak" of the opening policies.

  3. Wilo Guest

    I’m fine with China closed.
    In the last couple of years, it has been great to walk in my city without the hordes of the Chinese tourists around!

    1. kemnmiler Member

      I agree. I hope China stays closed. The world is much more peaceful without Chinese tourists. And no, I am not being racist, I am Asian as well.

    2. rr22 Guest

      Nationality-ist then?

    3. kemnmiler Member

      No, please look up the definition of nationalist, this is not when you use it.

      Let's call it wanting some civility and not wanting to hear hundreds of Chinese people shouting at the top of their lung across shops, restaurants, attractions, etc., as if they are the only people there.

  4. KW Guest

    Pooh Bear needs to go. A vile and despicable fascist.

  5. DJ Guest

    Keep China closed, coming and going. Let them live the fallacy of their government caring about 1.5 billion people.

  6. derek Guest

    This measure is not so absurd for several reasons.

    1. The vaccination rate in the People's Republic of China is low. (hint hint, the US is better but many people with poor judgment are not)

    2. The vaccines used in the People's Republic of China is of low quality. They don't use Moderna.

    3. Typical, authoritarian measures.

    (In contrast, the situation and policies in the Republic of China (Taiwan) are superior, even better than in the U.S.)

    1. JH Guest

      1. The vaccines have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to slow the spread of Covid.

      2. Nada

      3. Zilch

      4. Zip

  7. Jason Guest

    based on my knowledge of CCP, it is not likely a decision based on greater good but they are running out of money - since china is a export-oriented economy, inconsistency of supply chain will ruin the country's economy, not to mention trade war. this will even take corrupt officials' kids' Ferrari in Irvine away, so......
    but ccp is the lightest problem in china, given most people are welcome to authoritarianism, especially considering the...

    based on my knowledge of CCP, it is not likely a decision based on greater good but they are running out of money - since china is a export-oriented economy, inconsistency of supply chain will ruin the country's economy, not to mention trade war. this will even take corrupt officials' kids' Ferrari in Irvine away, so......
    but ccp is the lightest problem in china, given most people are welcome to authoritarianism, especially considering the new story here is obedience to covid policies makes China superior than the US...... and covid is the perfect reason for mid-tier officials to excuse economy...... so they will definitely overdo it to pretend they are working hard while they won't hesitate for a second to choose between people's life and their status...... after all, I don't think it will be any change from the root.

  8. Sean M. Diamond

    Conventional wisdom among those close to Chinese aviation circles expects to see a gradual but not insignificant easing of Chinese aviation and travel policy in the coming few months now that the National Congress has concluded with an endorsement of preferred office bearers until 2027.

    While it may not have garnered a lot of public attention, the last two weeks have seen a lot of progress of files at CAAC that have been pending for...

    Conventional wisdom among those close to Chinese aviation circles expects to see a gradual but not insignificant easing of Chinese aviation and travel policy in the coming few months now that the National Congress has concluded with an endorsement of preferred office bearers until 2027.

    While it may not have garnered a lot of public attention, the last two weeks have seen a lot of progress of files at CAAC that have been pending for multiple years and seemingly stalled permanently. There is definitely a change in attitude there.

  9. Bgriff Guest

    In terms of what they are waiting for ... they haven't vaccinated that many of their people, and the vaccines they do use aren't as good as the ones the rest of the world has used due to national pride. So if they did drop restrictions, they would face a huge wave of deaths among older people that the rest of the world has already experienced, and their leaders are afraid what that would do...

    In terms of what they are waiting for ... they haven't vaccinated that many of their people, and the vaccines they do use aren't as good as the ones the rest of the world has used due to national pride. So if they did drop restrictions, they would face a huge wave of deaths among older people that the rest of the world has already experienced, and their leaders are afraid what that would do to stability. That said, it's unclear whether they have a plan to change the vaccination situation, or if they're just going to try to let that huge wave of deaths trickle through very very slowly...

    1. JH Guest

      The supposed "vaccines" administered in the West aren't preventing transmission in the slightest.

      At best they are a therapeutic but even then you are still at risk if your underlying health is poor.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Your first statement is a demonstrable falsehood.

      Your second however, actually has factual merit.

  10. SSS Guest

    @Ben I think you have this the wrong way around:
    “This policy was eased in August 2022, as previously the thresholds were 5% for a one week suspension, and 10% for a two week suspension”
    If the thresholds are now 4/8% then the policy has tightened.

    1. S9 Guest

      The previous policy was actually 5 cases for 1 week suspension and 10 cases for 2 weeks suspension not 5% and 10%.

  11. James Guest

    China’s arbitrary and ridiculous rules make it very undesirable to go. I was born in China and got the hell out of there to Texas as soon as my parents got money. Not sending our kids there. They can learn Chinese in Singapore or Taiwan. Why visit a place that can detain you for any reason they deem appropriate. They still owe us for hiding the origins of the kung flu and trying to blame the US.

  12. Nick Guest

    Ben- you ask what they are waiting for…waiting for a good pitch to end their zero Covid policy. We all know everything is sacrificed for Xi’s power, so all the talk of hurting their economy is child’s play relative to his quest for a Stalin like grip on his country.

  13. Elixir Guest

    I am currently in China. Upon looking at this message I am thinking about the response or covering in OMAAT.
    This is quite a considerable improvement over the original statement. The circuit breaker hinders overseas Chinese from coming back, and it severely hurts overseas Chinese because they could have never imagined that one day they would be turned down by their hometown (especially for Chinese passport holders who didn't expect to stay abroad for...

    I am currently in China. Upon looking at this message I am thinking about the response or covering in OMAAT.
    This is quite a considerable improvement over the original statement. The circuit breaker hinders overseas Chinese from coming back, and it severely hurts overseas Chinese because they could have never imagined that one day they would be turned down by their hometown (especially for Chinese passport holders who didn't expect to stay abroad for a long time but forced to do so because of the policy).
    This is such a REDICULOUS policy I have ever seen.

  14. chris Guest

    You can tell that to those million dead in the US.

    1. Elixir Guest

      We are doing SOMETHING for the greater good. That is what Chinese propaganda always tells us. We are not allowed to justify whether SOMETHING is really for the greater good or it is just for the sake of someone's good, or SOMETHING is good at one time but it was prolonged to make it good for a small selected group of someone but hurts the majority of citizens.

    2. Steve Diamond

      The millions dead that would have died anyway from heart failures due to the insane amount of obesity in this country?

    3. JH Guest

      Have you seen any television commercials recently?

      Fat is the new healthy.

      And if you don't agree then you are are a fat shaming, bigoted "-ist."

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

kemnmiler Member

I agree. I hope China stays closed. The world is much more peaceful without Chinese tourists. And no, I am not being racist, I am Asian as well.

3
Sean M. Diamond

Conventional wisdom among those close to Chinese aviation circles expects to see a gradual but not insignificant easing of Chinese aviation and travel policy in the coming few months now that the National Congress has concluded with an endorsement of preferred office bearers until 2027. While it may not have garnered a lot of public attention, the last two weeks have seen a lot of progress of files at CAAC that have been pending for multiple years and seemingly stalled permanently. There is definitely a change in attitude there.

3
Steve Diamond

The millions dead that would have died anyway from heart failures due to the insane amount of obesity in this country?

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT