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Corona Situation China

While most countries in the world have largely abolished virus restrictions, China remains resolute in its zero-tolerance policy, responding with lockdowns and mass testing even to isolated cases. There are regions affected by harsh COVID-19 measures in virtually all parts of the country. The hard-hit southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou, for example, sealed off several districts. In the eastern Chinese city of Zhengzhou, people were no longer allowed outside in parts of the city. There were also reports of restrictions in the cities of Ningbo, Xining, Nanjing and in parts of Inner Mongolia.

After speculations that restrictions would ease in March 2023, the National Health Commission has reiterated the need to maintain the zero-COVID strategy. The commission further stated that a lifting of restrictions would lead to a large number of infections and fatalities, which would overburden China’s medical system. How long the COVID measures will continue and what impact they will have for trading partners is still unclear.

Significant impact on aviation
Various airlines in China have announced an increase of international connections this month. For instance, to meet the demand for business travel, China Eastern Airlines plans to increase its weekly international routes from 25 to 42 and its flights from 54 to 108 as of the end of October. Even though China has gradually eased COVID prevention measures for international travelers, authorities claim that this does not automatically mean large-scale international travel in the near future. The number of daily international flights still only amounts to five percent of the numbers of 2019.

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