China eases COVID restrictions on group travel

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BEIJING, 31 May. /TASS/.The China Tourism Authority on Tuesday relaxed a rule to suspend some tourist travel to areas where cases of COVID-19 have been detected, as part of the country’s efforts to more targeted response to the virus.

Tourism is one of the hardest hit sectors under China’s “dynamic COVID zero” policy, which requires every outbreak to be detected and contained as quickly as possible. The policy included various restrictions on non-essential movement of people when a regional outbreak occurred.

New guidance issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism says that travel agents are prohibited from organizing group tours linking a county that has reported high or medium risk areas for COVID and areas outside the province where the county is located.

This is a less restrictive rule than the previous general rule, which required travel agencies across the province to stop group travel between provinces if any small areas in the province became at high or moderate risk of contracting the virus.

“In principle, there should not be a single policy for the entire industry,” the new directives of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism say.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Wu; editing by Jacqueline Wong and Lincoln Fist.)

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