While the rest of the world is living with Covid-19, the world’s largest economy, China, is still pursuing a strict, zero-Covid policy.
Despite this, as November draws to a close, China has seen its first Covid-19-related deaths in six months.
With much of the world asking China to review its current policy because of the disruption to global supply chains and the knock-on impact of people’s lives around the world, President Xi Jingping currently seems intent on maintaining a strict lockdown approach, despite its impact on his own country.
The toll of China’s zero-Covid policy has hampered China’s economy significantly this year, resulting in growth of 3.9% versus its target of 5.5%.
However, there has been a progressive softening of some of their rules, which may point to a further loosening of policy in 2023 and a gradual normalisation of global supply chains.
As things currently stand, these are the current regulations:
There is no national lockdown.
Strict local lockdowns are still being imposed in areas where Covid-19 has been detected, alongside mass testing.
If you have Covid-19 you are now required to isolate for 8 days (reduced from 10), 5 in a dedicated isolation centre and 3 at home.
International travellers entering China are required to take a Covid test 48 hours in advance of arrival.
At the time of writing, anyone travelling from the UK to China is currently required to provide an invitation letter, a health declaration certificate, and one negative PCR test before flying.
As China faces its largest Covid-19 outbreak since April this year, we just don’t know whether President Xi Jingping will adapt his zero-Covid policy in 2023, in light of how the rest of the world has tackled it.
But as resentment grows amongst the Chinese population and the negative impact of the policy is felt across the Chinese economy, the President will surely have to review his approach if the country is to meet their 2023 economic growth targets.
It goes without saying that as any changes to China’s Covid-19 policy are announced, which are likely to affect global supply chains, the GCL team will keep you updated.