China has removed the Covid-19 risk indicator in residents’ travel record to allow more travel convenience in the country, according to an announcement published on the official site of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China.
The Covid-19 risk indicator, which used to be shown on a Chinese resident’s travel record on pandemic control apps, shows whether the app user has recently visited a place with high risk of Covid-19 exposure. People who have recently visited an area of high risk of Covid-19 exposure face travel restrictions such as quarantine.
On Tuesday, China reduced the period of compulsory quaratine to seven days from 14 days.
In the past two years, health code and travel record have been the must-have passes for Chinese citizens if they wished to travel between cities or even enter business establishments. The Covid-19 risk indicator is determined by users’ telecom data.
People with Covid-19 risk indicator and a green health code do not face difficulties moving around but are still encouraged to avoid going out, especially going to areas with mid or high Covid-19 exposure risk.
Without the Covid-19 risk indicator, Chinese citizens can theoretically travel to any city without potentially being put under quarantine as long as their health code is green.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology acknowledges the importance of the Covid-19 risk indicator in curbing the pandemic.
Search for flight tickets on online travel service site Qunar surged by 60% within 30 minutes after the announcement was made. Meanwhile, searches for hotels and train tickets almost doubled.