Travelers check in at Shanghai’s Hongqiao International Airport in on Dec. 12, 2022, after China relaxed domestic travel restrictions.
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images
BEIJING — Now that China is set to reopen its borders, locals are rushing to plan overseas travel for the Lunar New Year in late January, according to Trip.com Group.
Within half an hour of China’s announced policy change, searches for travel abroad surged to a three-year high, the travel booking company said.
Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the U.S., Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the U.K. made the list of top 10 destinations outside the mainland with the fastest-growing search volume, the company said. Macao and Hong Kong also made the list, which did not include any countries on the European continent.
China’s National Health Commission announced late Monday that starting Jan. 8, inbound travelers would no longer need to quarantine upon arrival on the mainland, ending a policy of nearly three years.
Authorities also said they would allow Chinese citizens to resume travel, without providing details on timing or process.
During the pandemic, Beijing prevented Chinese citizens from getting passports or leaving the country unless they had a clear reason, typically for business.
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the biggest public holidays in China. In 2023, the holiday runs from Jan. 21 to 27.