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China Reopening Borders: Good News For Thailand’s Tourism Industry

Published: December 28, 2022 at 3:13 pm

chinese travelers in thailand

China announced yesterday that it would end its tight Covid-19 restrictions and quarantine for travelers starting January 8, 2023.  The announcement is good news for Thailand’s tourism industry which continues to gain momentum from relaxed Covid restrictions globally.

Before the pandemic, Chinese travelers led the Kingdom’s tourism rankings. From 2014 to 2019, the number of tourists increased from 4.64 million to 12 million before China’s zero-Covid policy which ended the momentum of Thailand’s tourism industry.

The National Health Commission (NHC) of China has mandated that incoming travelers provide a negative Covid test result 48 hours before departure. Currently, inbound travelers must spend 5 days in hotel quarantine and 3 days in home quarantine.

The NHC also announced that limitations on international flights and seating capacity will be lifted.

The end of China’s tight Covid quarantine procedures and the relaxing of its borders occurred when the mainland eased its contentious zero-Covid policy earlier this month in response to widespread complaints by its locals.

Foreigners have been restricted from entering China, with the exception of those who have business in the country or family visits. However, the NHC has stated that it will make adjustments for foreigners to visit China for family-related reasons, study, business, and work, and “streamline” their visa applications.

China did not provide a date or implementation specifics but said that overseas travel for Chinese nationals will be restored in an orderly way depending on the global COVID-19 situation.

In 2020, China categorized Covid as a Category B infectious disease, although it was handled as a Category A sickness, alongside bubonic plague and cholera. Covid will now be regarded as a Category B disease, like bird flu or avian influenza and HIV.

“The Omicron variant is currently the predominant strain and only a few patients have progressed to pneumonia.”

The NHC said that it would not totally exclude interim and local restriction measures in the future.

“As we handle the outbreaks, we should focus on a real-time global evaluation of the outbreak’s severity, the strain on the health system, and the overall state of the public, and implement appropriate measures to limit activities in groups in order to flatten the curve.”

SOURCE: Thaiger

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