Now That President Xi Has Secured Power, China Eases Covid Controls

As I’ve said for the last year (e.g. “When Will China Re-Open Air Travel? Probably Not For A Year”), China would maintain its strict Zero Covid policies until after the 20th People’s Congress. President Xi Jinping couldn’t take risks before securing an unprecedented third term and consolidating power. But once that happened, things would likely ease.

Nothing has changed in China – they still aren’t using Western vaccines, the vast majority of the population remains immunologically naive – except for Xi having broken with precedent to extend his time in office, while vanquishing rival power centers.

Yet Covid protocols are relaxing. For instance,

  • Hotel quarantine dropped from 7 days to 5
  • Airlines will no longer be penalized for bringing a Covid case into the country
  • Test once instead of twice within 48 hours of arrival

This, of course, was not sustainable:

Nucleic Acid Testing 'Now Accounts for 1.3% of China’s GDP'

— That's Shanghai (@ThatsShanghai) November 7, 2022

Even as China further relaxes restrictions I’m not likely going back.

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