China’s State Council has announced 20 measures to in order to further optimize epidemic prevention and control work. Among them, we hereby highlight some of the major developments and the most important measures you should be aware of:
For close contacts, the restrictions have been changed to 5 + 3, meaning 5 days of centralized quarantine plus 3 days of home quarantine. Previously, it was 7 days centralized quarantine + 3 days home quarantine. The determination of a “secondary close contact” will also be more accurately assessed in a timelier fashion, with health officials no longer required to report in many circumstances.
►►►Risk Zones: High-Risk, Medium-Risk, Low-Risk
Those coming from high-risk zones will no longer be subject to centralized quarantine, they shall instead carry out quarantine at home. There will be no more medium risk zone classification, only high-risk and low-risk zones. In addition, high risk zones will now be identified by building as opposed to the entire compound. If no new infections are to be found in high-risk areas for 5 consecutive days they shall be reduced to low-risk areas. Further limitations shall be placed on massive PCR testing based on entire administrative zones.
►►►Inbound International Travel
The circuit breaker mechanism for inbound flights is to be cancelled, under which China-bound flights were suspended if an airline was found to carry a certain number of passengers who tested positive for Covid upon landing. Pre-departure testing requirements have also been reduced with the negative results of only one PCR test within 48 hours before boarding to be requested reduced from two.For international arrivals, there shall be a reduction from the “7 days of Centralized quarantine + 3 days home self monitoring” to “5 days centralized quarantine + 3 days of home quarantine”. After the inbound personnel completes the quarantine at the first point of entry, they shall not be quarantined again. During the centralized quarantine, there will be 4 nucleic acid tests on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th day, while the home quarantine requires 2 nucleic acid tests on the 1st and 3rd day.
The long-awaited announcement outlined many important pandemic related updates domestically, such as an increase in medical resources and ICU facilities as well as an expansion in the vaccination rate of elderly people & storage of Covid medicines, however, it does not explicitly mention when the changes will take effect. Follow our WeChat account for more updates on this emerging story.