On January 22nd China celebrates the Lunar New Year and prepares for the largest movement of people within the country: 2.1 billion journeys by air, land and water are expected, according to reports by Deputy Transport Minister Xu Chengguang. And together with the preparations, the fear of a possible new wave of Covid infections grows. This is why Beijing has invited travelers to «reduce travel and gatherings, particularly if they involve the elderly, pregnant women, small children and people with pre-existing conditions. People using public transport should wear masks and pay particular attention to their personal health and hygiene.
Cautionary measures that clash and are in stark contrast with the decision to effectively cancel all the restrictions that were in force, most recently the mandatory quarantine for foreign travelers in Covid hotels. A policy that has caused a sharp increase in positives in the country as the testimonies tell. Despite the data provided by China on infections has always been “insufficient”as the World Health Organization itself has denounced, hospitals in the country are currently under great pressure to the point that, according to reports from Reuters, even the policy on vaccines produced in the West is changing. China would in fact be in talks with Pfizer to obtain a license that will allow domestic drugmakers to produce and distribute a generic version of the US company Paxlovid’s Covid-19 antiviral drug.
Meanwhile, more and more countries around the world are asking visitors from China to undergo a Covid test before returning to travel. The date is February 8 when the borders in the country will reopen after more than two years in which negative swabs were needed to enter China and you ended up in a Covid hotel even if you had four doses of the vaccine. Europe has reached an agreement on the restrictions to be imposed on travelers arriving from China. EU member countries are recommended to ask for a negative swab within 48 hours prior to departure.
More stories from Vanity Fair that may interest you:
–Covid, agreement in Europe: swab for those leaving from China
– More and more people wear a mask: is the fear of Covid back?
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Source: Vanity Fair
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