China Covid: New year optimism sees hopes of moving beyond virus

When you arrive in China now the officials in head-to-toe protective clothing are gone. There are no buses with special plastic dividers waiting to take you to centralised quarantine. The main reminder that Covid is still around is that people adoudoune ultra légère homme tally weijl shorts marella outlet bonnet cache cache oreille deuter spheric 28 Switzerland baltimore ravens trikot jackson creolen gold gucci adidas originals 3mc black yeezy march 2022 bass sunjun sandals ανταλλακτικα πλυντηριο ρουχων πιτσος nfl trikot bengals legging nike rose svetr fox nfl trikot bengalsre wearing masks.

It feels weird.

You still need a PCR test before flying and arriving passengers fill in a health declaration form, accessible via phone apps. This then generates a temporary QR code. You scan the code when you come through the airport and then, after clearing immigration, simply walk out and into China.

As a journalist, I had to wait for an hour for special clearance to enter. During that time I and another waiting reporter had a long chat with one of the immigration police.

It was the first day they didn’t have to wear the “da bai” (big white) protective gear over their uniforms or face shields or shoe covers. Was it a relief?

“Yeah, it actually wasn’t that bad,” he said.

Chinese New Year is fast approaching but this officer said he would not be heading back to his hometown to ring in the Year of the Rabbit. There would be too much work for the immigration police over the coming weeks making sure that the new travel systems were in place and operating, he said.

Getting rid of most zero-Covid travel restrictions before the Spring Festival has meant that many who have not been able to visit friends and relatives in China are rushing to buy plane and train tickets in time.

Then there are the Chinese citizens who haven’t been able to go overseas for years – they too are making plans again. Most observers expect international tourists will soon be allowed back in.

The speed of the change in China’s Covid approach has been breathtaking.

What seems to have triggered this dramatic about-face were the protests against China’s zero-Covid policy late last year.

Discontent had been building for a long time, but once demonstrators started chanting publicly that leader Xi Jinping should resign and the Communist Party give up power, that was more than even this country’s all-powerful government could bear. BBC

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