China winds down 'zero-COVID' policy

A new protocol taking effect on Sunday will see China wind down its "zero-COVID" policy.

The focus is shifting from "infection prevention" to "vaccination and treatment."

Under measures announced by the Chinese government, lockdowns of entire neighborhoods will no longer be enforced.

People who test positive for the coronavirus will not be forced to isolate, and authorities will not identify their close contacts.

Quarantine requirements for arriving travelers will also be dropped, and PCR tests upon entry will be waived. But travelers will still need to show proof of a negative PCR test result obtained within 48 hours before departure.

Outbound travel by Chinese nationals is expected to resume in stages, depending on international infection trends.

For now, the Chinese government is not allowing domestic travel agents to solicit group tours abroad or sell travel packages. It has not specified when the ban will be lifted.