Experts: Border Control
May Ease in Early June
"Chinese students studying abroad who have graduated, important business leaders and much-needed production technicians, could get priority to return to China," Wang noted.
Zhou Zijun, a public health expert at Peking University, told the Global Times that as the epidemic has ebbed in China and medical testing ability has improved, it's time to lift restrictions on some business travel.
"China can now properly handle a small level of imported cases," he said.
Both experts remained cautious about opening up normal international travel due to fears of another spike in infections.
"China is unlikely to allow a large number of ordinary tourists to enter or exit in a short time," Zhou said.
An insider with the state aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told the Global Times on Monday that the agency hasn't gotten confirmation on the resumption of international flights.
Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported on Sunday that China and South Korea have consulted Japan about easing their border controls on business travelers.
Such a move has been already implemented between China and South Korea.
On May 1, the two countries became the first in the world to open an "express channel" for business executives who test negative for the coronavirus before departure and after arrival, to facilitate the movement of important products and raw materials, reports said.
Zhou said that lifting border restrictions means the authorities should first assess the risks of the epidemic in the departure and destination countries. The move between China and South Korea is reasonable and practical to resume business activities, as well as production and work, on the premise of epidemic prevention and control, Zhou noted.
Shanghai-based news site ThePaper.cn reported on Monday that international airlines are planning to increase flights to China in June, as the public looks forward to a gradual relaxation of travel restrictions due to the outbreak.
According to the report, South Korea's Asiana Airlines plans to resume 12 routes to China in June, while Korean Air is making preparations to restart flights to the country.
Also, Qatar Airways said it expects to serve passengers flying to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai by the end of June, and Turkish Airlines plans to resume flights to Shanghai in June.
The border lockdown is a temporary emergency measure in response to the pandemic, and it won't last long as cases of the virus tail off in some countries, Wang said, noting that in the era of economic globalization, easing the restrictions can help revive business activity.
Which Airlines are
resuming flights to China?
"Air travel within China "saw some degree of recovery" for April with two out of the three major carriers reporting a month-on-month increase.
China Southern and China Eastern Airlines reported higher numbers of passengers carried, 3.83 million and 2.64 million respectively, while Air China saw 4.2% fewer domestic passengers on its network since March.
Overall, numbers are expected to remain low throughout the summer as the airline industry continues to be severely affected by the pandemic". Flight Global
Atlanta-based Delta Airlines are planning to fly daily flights to China. According to Airline, from 1st June there will be a daily flight to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) from its two hubs:
Detroit and Seattle-Tacoma. Airbus A350-900 will fly on the Detroit route and Airbus A330-900 will fly towards Seattle route.
Chicago-based United Airlines are also planning to resume its services to China. According to the authorities starting from June 4, there will be daily flight to Shanghai from two networks: Newark (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO).
The Airlines also confirmed about the flight service between Beijing Capital and San Francisco. Airbus 773-300ER will fly on the Newark-Shanghai route and Boeing 787-9 is planned to fly toward San Francisco.
Turkish Airlines: plans to resume Shanghai in June, followed by the addition of Beijing and Guangzhou in July
United Airlines: plans to resume flights across four routes to three cities: Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai
Qatar Airways: expects to serve Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai by the end of June
Resumption of international flights by the Airlines is a positive sign that things are getting normal and better with time. This has become possible due to the different measures carried out by the Chinese authorities in the control of pandemic.