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China Eases COVID Suspension for International Flights

FILE - In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, members of a COVID-19 testing team are greeted at an airport in Shanghai, China, as they prepare to return home to Hubei Province, May 14, 2022.

China on Sunday shortened its suspension period for inbound international flights carrying COVID-positive passengers, signaling that Beijing could soon ease its strict border controls.

Incoming flights carrying five positive COVID-19 cases, or four percent of the total passengers, will now face a reduced one-week suspension, the Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) said in a statement.

Previously, if a plane brought in five infected passengers, all flights operated by the responsible airline along the same route were suspended for two weeks.

Flights logging an eight percent passengers positivity rate will be barred for two weeks, CAAC said.