Travelers check in at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on December 12, 2022, after China eased restrictions on domestic travel.
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images
BEIJING. Now that China is about to reopen its borders, locals are rushing to plan trips abroad for the Lunar New Year at the end of January, according to the Trip.com Group.
Within half an hour of China’s announced policy change, overseas travel searches surged to a three-year high, according to the travel booking company.
Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the UK were among the top 10 non-mainland destinations with the fastest growing search volume, the company said. Macau and Hong Kong were also included in the list, which did not include the countries of the European continent.
China’s National Health Commission announced late Monday that, starting Jan. 8, incoming travelers will no longer need to be quarantined upon arrival in the mainland, ending in a nearly three-year policy.
The authorities also said they would allow Chinese citizens to resume travel, without providing details on a timeline or process.
During the pandemic, Beijing prohibited Chinese citizens from obtaining passports or leaving the country unless they had a clear reason, usually on business.
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the biggest public holidays in China. In 2023, the holiday takes place from January 21 to 27.