China removed the asterisk marks on digital travel history codes across the country yesterday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced.
The cancellation, which came one day after the country announced reducing the quarantine period at centralized facilities for inbound travelers, aims at balancing epidemic control and economic development, and making travel easier for people, the ministry said.
Previously, a travel history record marked with an asterisk indicated that in the last 14 days a person has visited a city with medium- or high-risk areas for COVID-19, which was often used as proof for local authorities to impose curbs or quarantines to the visitors.
It heavily affected the travelers and their willingness to take a trip as their travel card can be traced back to the 14-day history — even if they haven’t been in contact with the infection or they had driven through the cities that reported new infections days later.
The cancellation has become a hot topic among internet users on Weibo as many people see such change as a good signal for society to gradually get back to normal, according to a CGTN report.
The search for flight tickets jumped by 50% in 30 minutes after the announcement, according to Chinese travel agency Qunar.com. The search for train tickets surged 1.5 times.
On Tuesday, China released an updated guideline against the virus, slashing the quarantine time for inbound travelers to seven days of centralized quarantine plus three days of home monitoring, down from previous 21 days in total.
It also helped boost the surge of search for tickets — the search for international tickets on Qunar.com doubled in one hour after the new guideline was released, a record high in two years.