“I have not seen my boyfriend in three years. We’re so excited to see one another,” Gema Liu tells CGTN.

She’s ready in Madrid airport arrivals for her accomplice, amid many different Chinese language individuals prepared for a long-awaited reunion with family members.

It is an emotional scene made attainable due to China’s lifting of quarantine guidelines and journey restrictions, one thing being known as ‘The Nice Reopening.’

Whereas a lot of the reporting on this story targeted on the precise EU rules on testing for Chinese language passengers and worries in regards to the potential of recent strains to unfold, the human story acquired somewhat misplaced.


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The heartwarming scenes at Madrid’s Barajas airport have been repeated everywhere in the world in latest days with households separated for years lastly reunited, each in China and overseas.

Many headlines have been on COVID-19 restrictions positioned on Chinese language vacationers arriving within the EU, however when Gemma’s boyfriend got here by way of the gates he known as the method “simple.”

“We wanted a COVID-19 take a look at however for us it isn’t an enormous drawback,” he stated. “In China we have executed lots of checks and we’re used to it. The outcomes are quick.”

Madrid airport awaiting new arrivals from China. /CGTN

Madrid airport awaiting new arrivals from China. /CGTN

Madrid airport awaiting new arrivals from China. /CGTN

With well being and tourism officers at odds over particular restrictions on Chinese language vacationers, it looks like the individuals really making the journeys are simply getting on with it.

The EU ‘strongly inspired’ its bloc of 27 nations to request a unfavorable COVID-19 take a look at for these coming from China. In Spain there have been additionally temperature checks, and a few passengers additionally needed to take antigen checks upon arrival. 

These restrictions and screenings sparked robust responses from airline teams and tourism officers. Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation Director Basic Willie Walsh acknowledged on January 4 that these measures had “confirmed ineffective” and “the virus was already circulating extensively inside their borders.”

Scenes at Madrid airport painted a special image on the weekend. Households and associates again collectively for the primary time in years.


Tourism enhance for Spain

Spanish tourism officers are optimistic in regards to the return of Chinese language vacationers. It’s, in any case, the world’s largest outbound market.

Chinese language vacationers took 155 million journeys in 2019 and spent over $255 billion.

For Spain, tourism accounts for round 15 p.c of GDP and remains to be by far crucial trade. That may be a big enhance for the financial system.

Additionally in 2019, Chinese language vacationers the largest spenders in Spain, leaving extra within the native financial system per individual than another nation.

CGTN's Ken Browne interviews one arrival. /CGTN

CGTN’s Ken Browne interviews one arrival. /CGTN

CGTN’s Ken Browne interviews one arrival. /CGTN

The early indicators are already promising. International vacation spot bookings in China have soared by over 500 p.c in comparison with this time final yr.

And naturally, it additionally makes returning dwelling to see household in the course of the Lunar New 12 months simpler for Chinese language individuals dwelling exterior Madrid.

“Chinese language New 12 months is on January 21. Earlier than we needed to do 15 days of quarantine,” Liu Yiyan informed CGTN as she waited for her flight to Beijing.

“Now they’ve cancelled all that, it is significantly better for us and we will start getting ready for the festivities. I feel we’ll see increasingly individuals coming dwelling for Chinese language New 12 months. I have not been dwelling in two years and I actually miss my grandmother!”

With pandemic journey restrictions on the world’s largest nation now lifted, anticipate to see extra scenes like these in Madrid as Chinese language households and associates reunite world wide.