Companies applaud China’s decision to lift quarantines

BEIJING (HPD) — Foreign companies applauded China’s decision to lift coronavirus lockdowns for those entering the country from abroad, calling it an important step to revive the economy, while Japan joined India on Tuesday in announcing restrictions for those entering the country. enter your territory at a time when cases of COVID-19 are increasing.

The abrupt decision by the Chinese Communist Party to lift some of the strictest restrictions against the virus comes as China tries to reverse its recent economic decline. It has ended checks that entrusted millions to their homes and sparked protests, but as the disease spreads, hospitals have been inundated with people suffering from fever and cough.

The announcement late Monday that foreigners will no longer be required to self-quarantine from January 8 is the biggest step toward ending restrictions that have kept most foreign visitors out of China. since the beginning of 2020. Quarantines were reduced last month from seven to five days.

Also on Monday, the government lowered the official level of severity conferred on COVID-19 and removed the requirement that all sick people self-quarantine. This expedited the dismantling of measures that, until now, were thought to remain in place until at least mid-2023.

“It looks like China has finally turned the corner,” Colm Rafferty, president of the US-China Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. The removal of mandatory quarantines “paves the way for the resumption of business travel,” he added.

Business groups had warned that many companies were pulling their investments out of China because their executives were not allowed into the country.

The chamber of commerce noted that more than 70% of the companies that responded to a survey anticipate that the impact of the most recent outbreak of the disease will not exceed three months and will end in early 2023.

The British Chamber of Commerce expressed hope that China will resume normal business visa processing soon to allow “the resumption of crucial personal exchanges.” He added that it “will help restore optimism and make China a priority destination for investment again.”

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Contributing to this story was Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, and Wayne Zhang and Olivia Zhang in Beijing.

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