, China reopens borders in final farewell to zero-COVID -

China reopens borders in final farewell to zero-COVID

On Sunday, as Beijing restored borders that had been all but closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, travelers started pouring across land and sea crossings from Hong Kong to mainland China, many of whom were anxious for long-awaited reunions.

A final tenet of a zero-COVID policy that had protected China’s citizens against the virus but also isolated them from the rest of the world is being dismantled as the mainland opens its border with Hong Kong and no longer requires arriving travelers to undergo quarantine.

Following historic demonstrations against a policy that included frequent testing, restrictions on movement, and mass lockdowns that seriously harmed the second-largest economy, China has just loosened one of the strictest COVID systems in the world.

“I’m ecstatic, joyful, and delighted. I haven’t seen my parents in a long time,” Teresa Chow, a resident of Hong Kong, said as she and numerous other travelers prepared to enter mainland China early on Sunday at Hong Kong’s Lok Ma Chau checkpoint.

She said, “I’m extremely pleased to go back and visit them now. My parents are not in good condition, and I couldn’t get back to see them even when they had colon cancer. So I’m really happy to go back and see them now.

Investors are hopeful that the reopening will eventually revitalize the $17 trillion economy, which is now seeing its slowest growth in nearly 50 years. However, the rapid policy change has resulted in a large infection surge that is overwhelming certain hospitals and disrupting operations.

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