China will scrap quarantine for travellers from 8 January, officials said, marking the last major shift from the country’s zero-Covid policy, the BBC reports
After three years of closed borders, this will effectively reopen the country to those with work and study visas, or seeking to visit family.
But it comes as China struggles with the virus’ ferocious spread in the wake of restrictions being lifted.
Reports says hospitals are overwhelmed and elderly people are dying.
The true toll – daily case counts and deaths – is currently unknown because officials have stopped releasing Covid data.
Beijing had reported about 4,000 new Covid infections each day last week and few deaths.
On Sunday it said it would stop publishing case numbers altogether. But British health data firm Airfinity estimated China was experiencing more than a million infections and 5,000 deaths a day, according to Reuters.
China is the last major economy in the world to move to “living with Covid” after three years of lockdowns, closed borders and mandatory quarantine for Covid cases and contacts.