The State Council, China’s cabinet, has set a provisional timeline for COVID-19 border controls that runs well into the second half of 2022, reports the Wall Street Journal. The plan was made in a meeting half-May, the report says.
Leading virologists like Zhang Wenhong have suggested earlier a similar timeline for opening the country’s international borders, but this was the first time it was confirmed by the country’s highest administrative institution. Transport links with other countries have been limited severely since December 2019 as the pandemic started to spread. The restrictions would well cover the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics in early 2022. Despite a fast catching up of China’s vaccination program, the resumption of international flights and activities will depend on domestic achievements in protecting the populations and global efforts to contain the coronavirus.
At the China Speakers Bureau, we prepare for a longer extension of the period where we have to focus on virtual meetings, rather than a resumption of more traditional business gatherings.