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China reopens borders to world in removing last Covid zero curbs

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Name Change In another sign of downgrading the impact of the virus, the government changed the Chinese name of Covid-19 from “new coronavirus pneumonia" to “new coronavirus infections." Omicron’s much reduced virulence compared to the ancestral strain that emerged from Wuhan means most people are sickened with only mild upper respiratory tract infections, authorities said. “The new coronavirus will linger in nature for a long time to come," according to the statement. “It has become much less virulent than before and the disease it causes will gradually turn into a common respiratory disease." The world’s second-largest economy has been largely cut off since early 2020, when China first imposed a blanket ban on overseas travelers.

While it later lifted the outright restriction, it kept in place an intricate web of testing and bureaucratic requirements around international flights that discouraged most travelers and effectively kept it sealed off from the world. Easier Travel Easier travel into and out of China is likely to benefit the many countries across the globe that rely on Chinese tourists.

And the recent loosening of testing and isolation requirements for travel within China may also boost domestic tourism revenue, which declined 26% over the week-long National Day holiday in October, compared with the same period last year.

China’s abrupt U-turn on Covid Zero has upended economists’ and investors’ expectations, complicating estimates for how its policies will affect economic growth.

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