Asia Shares Mixed as China Sets to End Quarantine for Foreign Visitors

China’s overnight announcement that it will remove quarantine for inbound travelers on Jan. 8 sparked a broad uptick in Asian markets on Tuesday, signaling the end of the country’s zero-Covid policy it has maintained for nearly three years.

According to the health officials, China has also downgraded Covid from its existing top-level Category A status to the less stringent Category B. The Shanghai Composite increased by 0.44% at 9.32 A.M. (Thai time)

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.48% after the nation saw retail sales up for the 9th consecutive month led by tourism. The Kospi in South Korea gained 0.49%.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.44%, and the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was 0.63% lower.

U.S. stock markets concluded the week with modest increases for the S&P and the Nasdaq Composite, but overall losses as recession worries continued to dampen investor optimism. 

Beginning January 8, 2023, travelers to China will no longer be required to undergo a quarantine phase, according to an announcement made by the Chinese government on late Monday.

China has said that it will make it easier for international travelers to enter the country and resume work, business, education, and family visits.

Chinese citizens’ ability to travel overseas will be “resumed in an orderly manner,” the announcement said.