China Dropping Quarantine, Seemingly Reopening Borders Starting January 8

Not even two months after the most recent closure of Shanghai Disneyland under China’s then-strict zero-COVID policy, a new report from the South China Morning Post suggests China’s borders will be reopening to the world on January 8 for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic emerged three years ago.


China’s borders closed to foreigners on March 28, 2020, and the country pursued an incredibly aggressive zero-COVID policy, involving extensive contact tracing schemes, snap harsh lockdowns which could last for weeks, and no tolerance for even a single case of COVID-19. The nation has been locked tight since, until now.

The change as reported by the South China Morning Post comes as China abruptly switched to “living with the virus,” with many restrictions around the country dropped in early December in the wake of rare organized protests against the policy in the country.

China’s disease management falls into three categories — A, B, and C. Category A includes highly infectious diseases like smallpox, bubonic plague, and cholera. B covers less severe outbreaks like H7N9 bird flu, HIV, and anthrax. C meanwhile covers the flu, the cold, and the mumps, among others. COVID-19 has always been categorized as Category B, but treated with Category A protocols under the zero-COVID policy. Now China’s National Health Commission has informed authorities in multiple provinces as well as heads of hospitals that the transition to Category B treatment will come on January 8.

The Post’s sources also said this means an end to strict quarantine for entrants to China. Many were worried China would reverse course on its dismantling of zero-COVID as a massive wave of infections sweeps the country right now, but this decision only affirms their direction towards reopening to the rest of the world.

Will you be visiting Shanghai Disneyland or Universal Studios Beijing once China reopens to the world? Let us know in the comments below!

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