China will scrape quarantine requirement for inbound travellers starting on January 8, the National Health Commission said in a statement late on Monday.

Overseas travelers to China are required to take a nucleic acid test 48 hours before departure and those with negative results can enter the country without having to apply for a green health code from Chinese embassies and consulates abroad, it said.

If they test positive, traveling to China will be allowed after the results turn negative.

COVID-19 testing and centralized isolation for all overseas travelers entering China will be canceled, and those with a normal health declaration and no abnormality in routine quarantines at the customs port can be green-lighted to social mobility, it said.

China will continue to improve the arrangements for foreign nationals traveling to China for work and production resumption, business, study, family visits and reunions and visa applications under these scenarios will be facilitated, it said, adding that passenger entry and exit at sea and land ports will be gradually resumed.

Outbound travel of Chinese citizens will also be resumed in an orderly manner, in accordance with the global epidemic situation and varied service guarantee capabilities.

China’s management of COVID-19 will also be downgraded to the less strict Category B from the current top-level Category A, the health authority said.

Since January 2020, China had classified COVID-19 as a Category B infectious disease but managed it under Category A protocols that cover diseases such as bubonic plague and cholera, giving local authorities the power to quarantine patients and their close contacts and lock down regions.