COVID cases may be rising dramatically in China, but the government is not easing up on its relaxation of rules. The latest move has stock markets up internationally on Tuesday and stock futures rising in the US: Beijing said it will stop requiring incoming travelers to go into quarantine as of Jan. 8, reports Reuters. Instead, such travelers will need to show only a negative COVID test within 48 hours of arrival, per the Wall Street Journal. The move is seen as a big step toward reopening China's borders to international business travel for the first time in three years.
“Just because the borders are open doesn’t mean travel will bounce back immediately,” Michael Hart of the American Chamber of Commerce in China tells CNBC. But the move is seen as a big first step, relative to international business. In the US, Dow futures were up more than 200 points in the wake of the news, per MarketWatch, raising hopes that the traditional "Santa Claus rally" will emerge in the final trading week of the year. After mass protests, China also has been dramatically easing COVID restrictions domestically, a shift that has led to a swift rise in cases and predictions of 2 million deaths in 2023. (Read more China stories.)