(June 29): China has halved the amount of time international arrivals and close contacts of COVID-19 patients must spend in centralized quarantine from 14 days to seven days and has drawn a clear standard on what constitutes medium- and high-risk areas. Epidemiologists said the move is a further improvement in the country's COVID-19 playbook that will provide more balance between antivirus measures and the need to maintain people's lives and livelihoods, Global Times reported.
As the last wave of the spring COVID-19 outbreak ebbs away, many Chinese cities have scrapped antivirus policies and resumed free movement between different provinces. The policy change on quarantine rules for international arrivals has also raised hope that airline companies will be allowed to resume more international routes as soon as possible. Epidemiologists urged this low infection period should serve as a window of opportunity for China to prepare to walk out of the pandemic emergency status at "minimal cost."
The Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council published its updated COVID-19 prevention playbook which cuts the collective quarantine time for close contacts and international arrivals to seven days in centralized quarantine, down from 14, plus three days of home health monitoring, down from previous seven days of home monitoring, said Global Times.