However, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday that he was not aware of the media report.

China's COVID policies are consistent and clear, Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing in Beijing.

According to the report, the State Council, which oversees China's bureaucracy, had recently asked government agencies and civil aviation regulators to prepare for ending a circuit-breaker mechanism.

Airlines earlier faced a ban if their flights brought in COVID-infected people into China. A similar mechanism for Hong Kong was suspended in July.

The report comes as Chinese policymakers pledged on Wednesday to prioritise growth and press on with reforms, which helped further boost stock markets buoyed by hopes that Beijing will ease some of its strict COVID measures.

China's aviation administration (CAAC) did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)