China came last out of A 3-year-Long isolation Sunday as the country reopened its borders to foreign visitors for the first time ago start of COVID-19 pandemic.
the decision dismantle a final column of a zeroCorona virus disease policy Which was protecting China from 1.4 billion people of the virus however also pieces of it off about the rest of the world.
After three long years, mainland China opened sea and land crossings with Hong Kong and Matlab ended for Quarantined travelers.
Travelers flocked to China by way of airland and sea on Sunday, many are anxious for The long-awaited reunion.
Chinese facilitation over the past Month of one of The world’s stricter COVID regulations have followed historic protests against a policy That included repeated tests, and limitations on Movement and mass lockdowns that have severely affected the second- the biggest economy.
Long lines formed in Hong Kong international airport check-in counters for Trips to mainland cities including Beijing, Tianjin, and Xiamen. Hong Kong media The outlets estimated that thousands were crossing over.
“I’m so happy, so happy, so excited. I haven’t seen parents for Many years,” said Hong Kong native Teresa Chow, as she and dozens of others said of Other travelers willing to cross into mainland China from the Lok Ma Chau checkpoint in Hong Kong.
“for me parents incorrect in good Health and I could not go back To see them even when they had colon cancer, so I’m really glad I went back And we see them now.”
Investors hope reopening will invigorate $17 trillion economy suffers from slower growth in almost half a century. But sudden policy reflection triggered huge wave of Infections that overwhelm and cause some hospitals business unrest.
Borders open after Saturday start of Chunyun is a period of 40 days of Travel in the Lunar New Year, which before the epidemic was the world’s largest annual migration, such as people They returned to their hometown or took holidays with family.
Almost two billion trips are expected this season double last year movement and recovery to 70%. of 2019 levels, and government says.
Many Chinese also it is expected that start Going abroad, a long-awaited transformation for Tourist sites in countries Like Thailand and Indonesia. But many governments – worried about the coronavirus in China spike They impose restrictions on travelers from the country.
Travel will not quickly return to pre-pandemic levels due to factors such as scarcity of international flights, analysts say.
China on Sunday resumed the issuance of passports and travel visas for Mainland residents, regular visas and residence permits for foreigners. Beijing has stakes on the number of people who Travel between Hong Kong and China is possible daily.
At Beijing Capital International Airport, families and friends exchanged emotional hugs and greetings with Passengers coming from places like Hong Kong, Warsaw and Frankfurt, meetings are impossible just a day ago.
“I’ve been searching forward to reopen for long time. Finally, we were reconnected with the world. A businesswoman named Shane, 55, said, “I am so excited, I can’t believe what is happening. who Flew in from Hong Kong.
Others waiting at the airport include a group of women with Long lens cameras that hope for this catch glimpse of Tempest boy band, and first Idol group From South Korea to enter China in Three years.
“that’s it good to see them in Person! They are many more Handsome and taller than I expected,” the 19-year-old said.yearOld or old who She gave her the name Xinyi, after the seven members of the group, Chase who Arrive in Beijing from Seoul.
interests over Rural areas
China downgraded its COVID administration to Category B from A, allowing local authorities to quarantine and lock down patients and their close contacts. down Regions.
But fears remain that great immigration of city workers to their home towns and reopen them of May borders cause Height in infections in Small towns and less rural areas equipped with Intensive care beds and ventilators.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wed that China’s COVID data does not represent the number of Hospitalization and mortality from the disease.
Chinese officials and the state media Defend handling of outbreak, playing down distress of Boom and denunciation of traveling abroad requirements on population of china.
Jiao Yahui, An official From the National Health Commission, he said in Interview published by state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday that demand for emergency f critical Care in It is possible that the large cities of China may have peaked but they have been rising fast in small And medium-sized cities and rural areas due to travel in the Lunar New Year.
about 80% of Intensive care beds in higher f secondThe hospitals were top notch in usef up from 54% on December 25, she said, adding that the country’s medical services treat It was COVID facing “Unprecedented challenge. “
Health officials said a news Conference they do not rule out Possibility of Take emergency COVID prevention measures such as suspending non-essential large-scale activities and business In large entertainment venues to deal with with large outbreaks.
China Center for Disease control and prevention announced two new Daily COVID deaths on mainland, compare with Three the day before, bring official death The death toll to 5269.