China COVID Status and Reopening: Business Advisory Updates

  • China’s aviation industry accelerates recovery. According to the China Air Transport Association (CATA), China’s aviation has recovered rapidly in the first quarter of 2023, returning to almost pre-pandemic levels. According to the data, in the first three months of the year, the volume of passenger flights recovered to 82.3 percent of that in the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, cargo and mail traffic recovered to 80 percent and 89 percent of 2019 levels respectively.

    While domestic flight routes have recorded strong recovery, international flight routes, in particular to the European and US markets, have lagged behind due to factors such as “traffic rights, time slots, and airport support capabilities”.

    The CATA also predicted that the aviation industry will continue to recover in the second quarter of 2023, with passenger flight volume recovering to 98 percent of pre-pandemic levels and passenger traffic volume recovering to 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Domestic passenger flights are expected to reach 105 percent of 2019 levels, driven by a high demand for travel, while international regional flight volume is expected to recover to 45 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

    In addition, following multiple years of losses, China’s airlines’ profitability also rose in the first quarter of 2023, with passenger revenue more than doubling from the previous quarter, and the proportion of passenger revenue in transportation revenue “rising significantly”.

  • PCR-test free travel for passengers from the listed 34 countries. Air passengers traveling directly from 34 specific countries to China can now use an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) result as an alternative to the PCR test, according to recent announcements by Chinese embassies in several countries. These announcements may only be available in their original language or on their official WeChat pages, but they have been confirmed to be accurate. Passengers originating from the following countries are eligible for this policy: Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Vietnam, Nepal, Tanzania, Georgia, Serbia, Azerbaijan, and Brunei.
  • Approvals of culture and tourism exchange groups with foreign countries to resume starting April 1.  On March 27, 2023, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published a statement on its website regarding the resumption of the assessment and authorization process for foreign cultural and tourism exchange groups. Starting from April 1, 2023, all cultural and tourism administrative departments can begin reviewing and approving foreign groups that plan to visit for cultural and tourism purposes. For further information, please refer to our dedicated article.
  • High-speed rail between Shanghai and Hong Kong to resume starting April 1. According to the Shanghai Railway Bureau, the G99 high-speed train running from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station will resume operations from April 1 onward. The return journey, operating on the G100 train from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, will resume on April 2. Tickets for this rail route have officially gone on sale today (March 23), at a price of RMB 894 for second-class adult tickets.All railway routes between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland were suspended in early 2020 due to pandemic control. This announcement follows the recent news that the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport will resume flight routes to international destinations, as well as Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, from March 26 onward.
  • Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to resume international flight routes. According to a post on the official WeChat account of the Shanghai Airport Group, from March 26 onwards, Shanghai Hongqiao International airport will resume flight routes to international destinations, as well as Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. 11 airlines, including China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Air Macau, China Airlines, and EVA Air will operate out of Terminal 1 of the airport.The post also advised passengers to check with the airline they are flying for the latest flight updates.Shanghai Hongqiao International Airports suspended all international flight routes, as well as routes to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic control measures. All flight routes operating out of the airport were transferred to Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
  • China Resumes Applications for Foreign Commercial Performances. On March 16, Thursday, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that it will resume accepting applications for commercial performances involving people from overseas, starting from March 20, 2023. This marks the removal of another restriction imposed during the zero-COVID policy period. Earlier this week, China resumed issuing all types of visas for foreigners on March 15, 2023, including the long-awaited tourism visa. The applications for commercial performances involving people from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan were resumed on February 16, 2023, yet applications for commercial performances involving other overseas applicants had been suspended until now with limited exceptions.
    See our full article on the topic here.
  • China to resume issuing all types of visas to foreigners:   On March 16, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that it will resume accepting applications for a commercial performance involving people from overseas, starting from March 20, 2023. This marks the removal of another restriction imposed during the zero-COVID policy period. Earlier this week, China resumed issuing all types of visas for foreigners on March 15, 2023, including the long-awaited tourism visa. 
  • China to resume issuing all types of visas to foreigners:  Starting from March 15, 2023, China will resume issuing all types of visas to foreign nationals, ending the cross-border control measures it imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago. On March 14, 2023, the Chinese foreign ministry announced that certain areas in China, such as Hainan Island and Shanghai port, which previously allowed entry without visas, will once again allow visa-free entry. In addition, foreign visitors from Hong Kong and Macau will be permitted to enter the southern manufacturing center of Guangdong without visas. The foreign ministry also declared that foreign nationals with visas issued before March 28, 2020, that are still valid, will be allowed to enter China.
  • China to resume group tours to more countries: The Chinese government website issued a notice on March 10, 2023, announcing the Notice on the Pilot Resumption of Travel Agencies Operating Outbound Group Tours for Chinese Citizens to Relevant Countries (the second Batch). The circular permits travel agencies and online tourism companies to offer outbound group tours and air ticket + hotel services for Chinese citizens to countries such as France, Greece, Spain, Iceland, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Brazil, Nepal, Brunei, Vietnam, Mongolia, Iran, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and others. This pilot program will commence on March 15, 2023. The circular emphasizes the importance of travel agencies complying with the “one group, one reporting” system and not conducting outbound business that is not authorized by the national list or schedule.
  • The US rescinds special COVID-19 requirements for travelers from China: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the special COVID-19 testing regulations for travelers from China and its administrative regions, which were implemented on January 5, 2023, due to a significant outbreak of cases in the country, have been officially lifted on March 10, 2023. This means that the previous testing requirements are no longer in effect. This announcement implies that individuals traveling from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and certain designated airports outside of China are no longer required to undergo a pre-flight COVID-19 test or provide evidence of recent recovery from COVID-19 in order to board a flight to the United States.
  • Starting from March 1, 48-hour negative test results are no longer required for flying to China: According to notices released by Chinese Embassies in Russia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, South Africa, New Zealand, and Switzerland, from March 1, passengers taking direct flights from the local areas to China can replace 48-hour nucleic acid testing with antigen testing (including self-testing), and airlines will no longer check relevant reports. passengers will only be required to complete the Health Declaration to China Customs by filling out the form either on the China Customs WeChat mini-program or at the corresponding website.
  • Holders of virtual APEC Business Travel Cards will be can now enter China without applying for new visas. Chinese embassies and consulates abroad recently announced that starting from May 1st, 2023, holders of virtual APEC Business Travel Cards (ABTCs) will be able to enter China without needing to apply for new visas. The ABTC is a long-term visa provided by 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region for their citizens, which allows them to enter and exit China multiple times without applying for a visa within the card’s validity period and stay for up to 60 days each time.
  • China Customs scraps COVID-related measures for import products. China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) issued a notice (Announcement No. 14 [2023]) on February 21, 2023, to announce that will no longer require certain COVID-19 prevention measures for import goods from March 1 onward. From this date onward, importers will no longer have to declare that they have implemented “preventative disinfection” of the goods. They will also no longer have to fill in the “departure date” of the import goods when making import declarations where the date involves COVID-19 management measures.
  • South Korea lifts testing requirements for travelers from China. According to media reports citing South Korean health officials, South Korea has lifted requirements for travelers from China to undergo COVID-19 testing on arrival. Requirements for pre-departure testing will also be scrapped but will remain in place until March 10. This follows South Korea’s decision on February 11 to resume the issuance of visas for Chinese citizens, which was reciprocated by China resuming visas for South Korean citizens.
  • China tourism set to fully recover by summer 2023. According to the China Tourism Academy, domestic tourism in China is expected to fully recover by this summer, with travel volume expected to approach and even exceed pre-pandemic levels. The estimates follow the strong travel numbers recorded during the 2023 Chinese New Year period, which saw the highest travel volume since 2020. According to the academy, over the course of 2023, domestic tourism is expected to recover to 76 percent of the level in 2019, with an estimated total of 4.45 billion trips. In addition, domestic tourism revenue is expected to recover to 71 percent of 2019 levels, increasing by 89 percent year-on-year to reach RMB 4 trillion (approx. US$579.8 billion).International tourism, meanwhile, is expected to recover to 31.5 percent of pre-pandemic levels, with around 90 million inbound and outbound trips, a two-fold increase from the previous year.
  • France scraps COVID-19 testing for travelers from China after EU countries agree to phase out travel measures: On Thursday, February 16, the 27 EU member countries and Schengen agreed to phase out testing requirements that were imposed on travelers from China following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in China. According to the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, the member states, based on the recommendation of health experts, agreed to phase out the requirement for a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test by the end of February and to phase out random spot testing of travelers arriving from China by mid-March. The travel measures were provided as optional guidelines for EU members to adopt, with countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands, choosing to do so. In response, the French Embassy in Beijing announced that France will no longer require a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of boarding the flight to France, and will cease doing spot tests for arrivals from February 16 onward.
  • Beijing declares victory over COVID-19: During a meeting of the Communist Party of China held on February 16, it was stated that China has achieved a major and conclusive triumph in battling COVID-19. According to the statement, China has provided medical care to 200 million people who were infected with COVID-19 since November 2022. This number also includes almost 800,000 patients who were in critical condition.
  • China announces resumption of short-term visas for travelers from South Korea:  The Chinese embassy in Seoul confirmed the resumption of short-term visas for South Koreans starting February 18, 2023, de facto ending most of the remaining measures taken by Beijing against Covid-related curbs on travelers from China. Short-term visas will be available for South Koreans seeking to enter China for visits, business, transit, and private affairs, as per the embassy’s statement.
  • South Korea resumes short-term visas to visitors from China:  Following China’s improvement in its COVID-19 situation, South Korea resumed short-term visas for visitors coming from China on February 11, 2023. Beijing might consider doing the same. Seoul had halted the issuance of short-term visas to Chinese tourists earlier in January, due to the unexpected wave of infections caused by Beijing’s sudden decision to abandon its “zero-Covid” policy. In retaliation, China stopped granting South Korean tourists short-term visas.
  • The possibility of new COVID-19 variants circulating in China is low: According to a paper by leading Chinese scientist George Gao published in the Lancet medical journal, no new variants had emerged in the initial weeks of China’s recent outbreak. This is in line with China’s CDC’s statement that their continuous monitoring showed no new strains of COVID-19. “The world should completely calm down from the fear that there are new variants or special variants circulating (in China)”, Gao said.
  • Fitch revises its growth forecast for China’s economic growth in 2023 to 5%: In view of the faster-than-expected recovery of consumption and other activities, rating agency Fitch has revised its growth forecast for China to 5.0% from 4.1%. It is the first major rating agency that upgrades China’s 2023 economic growth forecast. Other rating agencies are cautious to upgrade their predictions now, due to concerns over the sluggish property market and the weak overseas trade demand.
  • Luxury market shrinks 10% in 2022: According to a report by Bain & Company, China’s luxury market suffered a 10 percent contraction due to the strict zero-COVID policy implemented in China in 2022. But with China rolling back its COVID-19 restrictions and determined to bring its economy to the growth track, the luxury market could see 2021 sales level as mall traffic improves and consumer sentiment rebounds.
  • Chinese and foreign airlines add more international routes: With China reopening and overseas group tours resuming, both Chinese and foreign airlines are increasing their number of international flights that link China with the rest of the world. According to Hanglv Zongheng, a civil aviation flight information provider, around 130,000 people flew out of China between February 1 and February 6, an over 600 percent jump compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, China’s China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that the Chinese mainland is ready to resume all cross-strait direct flights without restrictions and urged Taiwan to take similar moves.
  • China resumed inbound and outbound group tours between the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong, Macao: On February 3, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published on its website a notice on the resumption of inbound and outbound group tours between the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong, Macao. Starting from February 6, travel agencies and online travel companies can resume their inbound and outbound group tours and “air ticket + hotel” business between the Chinese Mainland and the two special administrative regions.
  • China railway traffic rebounded during the Chunyun period: China’s railway passenger traffic rebounded to about 90% of the pre-pandemic level of 2019, during the period between January 22 and February 1. According to data from the National Railway Administration (NRA), some 102 million passenger trips were made on the country’s railways. The number represents a 48.7% jump from the comparable period in 2022 when a strict zero-COVID policy was implemented to curb the outbreaks. Meanwhile, China Railway (CR) said that it expects China’s railway passenger traffic during this year’s chunyun period (Jan 7-Feb 15) to total around 300 million people, recovering to about 80% of the pre-pandemic level of 2019.
  • Between January 27 and Feb 2, 2023, China recorded 3,278 COVID-related fatalities. China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared that COVID-related fatalities registered in the country’s hospitals totaled 3,278 between January 27 and February 2, 2023. As per the CDC, 3,147 of these died from various conditions associated with the disease, while 131 passed away from respiratory failure brought on by the novel coronavirus infection. This bring the total number of patients who have died in hospitals with COVID-19 since December 8, 2022 to 82,238.
  • Mainland China to Fully Resume Personnel Crossings to and from Hong Kong and Macao from February 6. According to a notice published on the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council website, mainland China will fully resume border crossings to and from Hong Kong and Macao and lift caps on the number of travelers permitted to cross starting from Monday, February 6. It also removes requirements for travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test if they have been in Hong Kong and Macao for seven days prior to crossing. The announcement confirms previous media reports that three more border crossings would be opened and the quota system for the number of people permitted to cross the border would be lifted.
    For more information on this, see our article here.
  • Three more border crossings will open between mainland China and Hong Kong, according to SCMP source. A source within the Guangdong and Hong Kong governments has told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that the two jurisdictions have “in principle” agreed to open three more border crossings as soon as this Monday. The source also said that the current COVID-19 testing requirements and daily quota for the number of people permitted to cross will be scrapped. However, the source also told the SCMP that they will have to “wait for the central government’s final approval.” This news has yet to be confirmed by the Guangdong or Hong Kong authorities.
  • COVID-19 cases are declining in China, according to NHC. At a regular press conference for the State Council’s joint COVID-19 prevention and control mechanism, Fu Wei, a supervising official for the National Health Commission (NHC) stated that COVID-19 case numbers have decreased significantly from the peak in December, and remained at a “low level” over the Chinese New Year (CNY) period (January 21 to 27). According to the readout of the press conference, compared to the peak on December 23, 2022, the number of diagnoses and treatments in fever clinics declined by 94 percent in the CNY period. Moreover, on January 27, there were just over 2 million diagnoses and treatments in general outpatient and emergency clinics in grassroots institutions, a decrease of nearly 30 percent compared with that before the holiday, and about 44 percent less than the peak volume recorded on December 29.
  • China resumes visa services in Japan after suspension. According to a notice on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Japan, China will resume issuing visas to people in Japan from January 29, onward, after having suspended the services just over two weeks earlier on January 10. China suspended visa services in Japan after it imposed new border controls on people traveling from China after China lifted the majority of its COVID-19 restrictions. China also suspended visa services in South Korea for the same reason but has yet to resume services.
  • China conditionally approves two new domestic anti-COVID drugs. According to a notice published on its website, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has conditionally approved two more domestic oral anti-COVID drugs after an emergency review and approval procedure. The two new drugs are Xiannuoxin, developed by Hainan Simcere Co., and Mindewei, developed by Shanghai Wangshi Biomedical Technology Co. Both drugs reportedly have similar efficacy to Paxlovid, and are intended for the treatment of adult patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 infections. According to the notice, the two producers are required to continue conducting relevant research and “complete the conditional requirements” within a certain time limit before submitting the follow-up research results.
  • A second wave of COVID-19 infections is “unlikely” in the next two-three months. According to Chinese government officials, there is little chance of a significant COVID-19 comeback in China over the next two to three months, since 80 percent of the population already caught the virus and built immune resistance to it. Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that a second COVID-19 wave is unlikely to happen soon, despite the widespread movement of people during the ongoing Lunar New Year holiday period.
  • China to resume outbound group travel. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that starting, February 6, 2023, Chinese travel agencies will be allowed to provide outbound group travel for to 20 countries – Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Fiji, Cuba, and Argentina. See our article here.
  • Hong Kong to remove home isolation requirement. Starting January 30, 2023, Hong Kong will no longer require patients infected with COVID-19 to be quarantined, de-facto removing one of the remaining significant restrictions in place. The decision to lower COVID-19’s designation to an endemic disease includes eliminating the isolation requirement. Hong Kong’s move follows the same provision taken by the Mainland on January 8. According to the local government, this represents “One of the crucial stages towards Hong Kong’s normalcy.”
  • China releases COVID-19 death toll since December. In a press conference held on January 14, 2023, the National Health Commission (NHC) announced for the first time China’s death toll since its shift away from “zero-COVID”. Between December 8, 2022 and January 12, 2023, 59,938 COVID-related deaths were recorded in Chinese hospitals. Among them, 5,503 died of respiratory failure caused by the COVID-19 infection, and 54,435 died of basic diseases combined with the COVID-19 infection. The average age of the deaths was 80.3 years old, with 90.1 percent aged 65 and above, and 56.5 percent aged 80 and above. More than 90 percent of the deaths were complicated by underlying diseases.
  • China expedites the localization of imported COVID-19 medications.  As China makes preparations to safeguard high-risk populations in light of probable epidemic waves during the forthcoming Lunar New Year holiday, Chinese authorities and manufacturers are actively supporting localized manufacturing of COVID-19 medicines. Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), a leading US pharmaceutical company, revealed on Wednesday that it has begun license talks with Sinopharm to produce and distribute Molnupiravir in China to better serve Chinese patients and support the country’s fight against COVID-19.
  • Concern about the elderly during the Lunar New Year holiday. As they prepare to travel home for the holidays, many in China are concerned that they may infect elderly relatives with COVID-19, which the WHO fears could spark a severe outbreak. The Lunar New Year vacation begins on January 21.
  • WHO committee to meet and discuss COVID-19 emergency status. Three years after it was initially announced, a World Health Organization committee will convene on January 27 to discuss whether the COVID-19 pandemic still qualifies as a global emergency. At a news conference in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Carla Drysdale confirmed the date of the gathering. The Emergency Committee offers recommendations to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who ultimately decides whether an epidemic qualifies as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” the highest degree of warning for the UN organization.
  • China to halt short-term visas in South ore and Japan. Japan and South Korea will no longer receive short-term visas from China in response to COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed on Chinese citizens by the two countries. The Chinese embassy in Seoul announced that visas for South Koreans traveling to China as tourists have been suspended, and similar steps will be taken for Japanese tourists. Beijing claims that the tit-for-tat action would continue until “discriminatory” entry restrictions against China are abolished by the two countries.
  • About 90% of the population in Henan has already been infected. Almost 90% of all people in Henan, China’s third most populated province, have been infected with COVID-19, according to health officials. The total number, presented at a regular press conference from the local pandemic prevention and control team, came to around 88.5 million people.
  • China to sync with the rest of the world as COVID-19 becomes endemic. According to Zhang Wenhong, a Shanghai-based expert in infectious diseases, once COVID-19 becomes endemic, China will soon be on par with the rest of the globe. “The pandemic’s initial wave of the peak has also reached Mainland China. We will move into an endemic stage as more medical resources become accessible,” he said in a recent seminar. Endemic diseases are persistent and with recognizable patterns. The resort towns of Sanya and Guangzhou have both declared in recent days that the worst of their respective local epidemics has passed. In a study, medical experts from Shanghai predicted that the most recent COVID-19 wave will have moved through major Chinese cities by the end of 2022, with illnesses first appearing in rural regions and farther-flung provinces in central and western China in mid- to late January.
  • Beijing decriminalizes violations of COVID-19 rules. China has instructed judges and law enforcement authorities to refrain from convicting anyone who disobeys quarantine and other pandemic containment measures. According to a statement released simultaneously on Saturday by five state agencies, including the Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Public Security, violations of domestic Covid prevention and containment laws and border health inspections would no longer be prosecuted as crimes as of January 8, 2023.
  • China removes the second nucleic acid test requirement for travelers from Hong Kong.On January 5, 2023, the State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism announced new measures for inbound travelers from Hong Kong and Macao. Among other changes, travelers from Hong Kong will no longer be required to take a nucleic acid test upon arrival, however, they will still be required to have a negative test result from within 48 hours of departure to mainland China. Travelers from Macao will not be required to do a test before departure if they have not traveled to any third country or region in the seven days before leaving for mainland China.The announcement also canceled previous restrictions on the number of flights operating between mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao, and called for the gradual increase in the number of flights. Visa applications for mainland Chinese residents to Hong Kong and Macao will also be resumed. The above measures will be in place from January 8, 2023.
  • China’s aviation regulator releases new version of COVID-19 technical guidelines for airlines and airports.On January 5, 2023, the Civil Aviation Adminstration of China (CAAC) released the 10th version of technical guidelines for airlines and airports, which do away with many of the previous COVID-19 prevention and control measures. Among other changes, the new guidelines remove quarantine requirements for international flight crews. Previously, international flight crews were required to undergo seven days of centralized quarantine upon arrival in China. The guidelines still require crew to wear certain types of face masks and protective gloves when fulfilling certain services, such as onboard catering, The guidelines also encourage airline crew to get vaccinated and enable them to get a second booster shot. The new guidelines will come into effect from January 8, 2023, the date when COVID-19 is officially downgraded to a category B infection and treated as an ordinary illness.
  • Shanghai sets official definitions for serious and critical COVID-19 cases. On January 4, the Shanghai expert group for the treatment of COVID-19 released guidelines for the designation of “mild and ordinary”, “serious” and “critical” COVID-19 symptoms, in order to ensure patients get the right treatment. The guidelines are as follows: “Mild and ordinary” symptoms include: Fever, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat or discomfort in the throat, general malaise, and other clinically relevant symptoms, but no dyspnea and decrease in oxygen saturation. Those without pneumonia can be diagnosed as “mild”; those with pneumonia can be diagnosed as “ordinary”. “Serious” symptoms include: In adults:
    • Shortness of breath, RR≥30 times/min;
    • Oxygen saturation of is ≤93 percent when inhaling at rest;
    • Partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood (PaO2)/inhaled oxygen concentration (FiO2)≤300 mmHg;
    • Pulmonary imaging examinations showing that the lesion progresses more than 50 percent within 24 to 48 hours.

    In children:

    • Extremely high fever or persistent high fever for more than 3 days;
    • Shortness of breath;
    • Oxygen saturation of is ≤93 percent when inhaling at rest;
    • Require assisted breathing;
    • Drowsiness and convulsions;
    • Refusal or difficulty in feeding, with symptoms of dehydration.

    “Critical” symptoms include:

    • Respiratory failure and need for mechanical ventilation;
    • Shock;
    • Complications with other organ failures, where ICU monitoring and treatment are required.

    For mild and ordinary cases, at-home treatment or treatment in a nearby medical clinic is implemented. Standardized treatment will be provided by the medical force of the community health service center. People in high-risk groups, such as those over the age of 60, immunocompromised people, or perinatal people, will be referred to district-level hospitals. The above designations are designed for the consultation of local medical providers to ensure they are able to properly diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients according to their needs.

  • The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issues measures to resume international passenger flights. On December 18, 2022, the CAAC released a document titled Several Measures to Resume International Passenger Flights, which removes several restrictions imposed to prevent COVID-19 transmission from passengers arriving from abroad. These include:
    • Abolishing the “Five-One Policy”, which allowed domestic airlines to operate just one outbound international flight route to each country per week, and foreign airlines to operate just one inbound flight to China per week.
    • Resumption of applications from Chinese and foreign airlines for new or additional international passenger routes for the summer and fall seasons of 2023.
    • Resumption of applications from Chinese and foreign airlines for international passenger charter flights in accordance with the existing charter for the summer and autumn flight season in 2023.
    • Resumption of applications for landing permits for business jets in China.
  • These above measures will go into effect on January 8, 2023.

    About Us China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at [email protected] We also maintain offices assisting foreign investors in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, The Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand in addition to our practices in India and Russia and our trade research facilities along the Belt & Road Initiative.