First of all, those who could not see their relatives for many months rejoiced at the lifting of strict restrictions.
A photo: REUTERS
China opened the borders for the first time since the imposition of international travel restrictions in March 2020. Thus, the forced isolation of the country due to the coronavirus pandemic lasted almost three years.
From now on, tourists arriving from abroad will no longer have to go through quarantine, but they will still have to provide negative tests for COVID-19.
Sea and land connections between Hong Kong and mainland China have already resumed, but the trip will also require a test done no earlier than two days before the trip. In addition, there are daily limits on the number of travelers.
Experts estimate that in the coming weeks (January 22 is the Lunar New Year), at least 400,000 people will travel from Hong Kong to China to visit their loved ones during the New Year travel season, which in the “pre-pandemic era” was considered the largest annual migration in the world.
The abolition of the “zero tolerance” policy towards the coronavirus and, according to many Western media, the lack of reliable information on the incidence of COVID-19 in China, have led to the fact that a number of states have already introduced, and some are planning to introduce, mandatory testing for arriving Chinese.
The PRC authorities called this approach discriminatory and promised to take retaliatory measures.