International travelers visiting mainland China will face “0+3” days instead of the current “5+3” days of quarantine time after the New Year holiday.

China Eastern
Photo: China Eastern

With the background that China has fully lifted its domestic restrictions towards COVID-19 prevention, it is reported by HKSTV (Hong Kong Satellite Television) that China would suspend its centralized quarantine requirement towards international travelers from January 3rd, 2023.

Now international travelers still face “5+3” days of quarantine when visiting mainland China, which means five days in a centralized location plus three days of home quarantine. The upcoming new policy will be “0+3” days, which only requires international travelers to stay at home or in designated hotel rooms for three days after arrival.

China Southern

Photo: China Southern

An estimated 248 million people were infected nationwide between December 1st and 20th, and the number is still rising, according to meeting minutes from the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China. Therefore, it no longer makes sense to continue to impose strict measures on international travelers.

Earlier this month, the government of Hong Kong SAR issued new rules that international travelers with a negative PCR test result will face no quarantine time and no more restrictions after arrival.

Reporters took this eye-catching topic to the daily briefing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China for two consecutive days on December 21st and 22nd. The spokeswoman Mao Ning neither confirmed nor denied if the policy would be adjusted after New Year Holiday. Mao said,

“In the nearly three years since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have taken a coordinated approach and pursued win-win cooperation. We have taken the lead in resuming work and production around the world, actively promoted high-level opening-up, improved visa policies through fast channels, increased international flights in an orderly manner, and simplified remote prevention and control measures to facilitate people-to-people exchanges, making important contributions to maintaining the stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain. We will make it easier for people to travel across the border depending on the situation.”

Development of quarantine policy in China toward international travelers

In March 2020, the COVID-19 situation in mainland China gradually improved, but it began to break out in several countries in Asia and Europe. So China started to impose quarantine requirements of 14 days for inbound travelers from severely affected countries. The requirements soon are extended to all international travelers following the global outbreak of COVID-19.

Quarantine measures were upgraded in early 2021 as the increasing number of arrivals tested positive after finishing quarantine observation and caused local community infection.

China Southern B787-1

Photo: China Southern

Most provinces adopt the policy of 14 days of centralized quarantine plus seven days of home quarantine/health monitoring or 14 days of centralized quarantine plus seven days of home quarantine, which takes 21 or 28 days in total after their arrival.

In September 2021, the City of Shenyang (capital city of Liaoning Province) adopted 21 days of centralized quarantine, seven days of home quarantine, and 28 days of home health monitoring, a total of 56 days, which was the longest quarantine time requirement.

In June 2022, the Chinese government lifted the quarantine time requirement to “7+3” days after arrival. Five months later, in November, the government further lifted to “5+3” days after arrival.

Time Range

Quarantine Requirements for international travelers (in days)

From March 2020

“14+7” in general; “14+14” in some provinces; “21+7+28” in the extreme case

From mid-June 2022


From November 11th, 2022


From January 3rd, 2023 (reported)


When do you think the number of international travelers will be back to the pre-epidemic level? Share your thoughts with Simple Flying in the comments.


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