On 8 January 2021, China announced that it would be lifting its quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in the country. This marks the latest step in the country's move away from its zero-Covid policy. President Xi Jinping has urged officials to do what is 'feasible' to save lives, while state media has reported that thousands of people may be dying every day due to Covid-19.
Under the new rules, quarantine will no longer be enforced and Covid-19 will be downgraded from a Class A infectious disease to Class B. This change has been met with mixed opinions, as analysts have suggested that President Xi is in an uncomfortable position of having to take responsibility for the huge wave of infections and hospital admissions. Public anger over the president's handling of the pandemic is also on the rise.
It is unclear how the Chinese government will manage the Covid-19 pandemic going forward. The lifting of the quarantine requirement is a positive step, but the virus continues to pose a significant risk. Moving forward, it is important that the Chinese government takes responsibility for managing the virus and ensures that it is well-equipped to deal with future outbreaks.