That COVID cases are at an all-time high in China is no news. Following this, China implemented strict COVID testing and quarantine rules across the country. But since last month, China has been easing its testing requirements and travel restrictions. Now the Chinese authorities have announced that Beijing and Shenzhen will no longer require a negative test report from people to avail public transport.
This move comes from the authorities even amidst rising cases, as China aims to have a more targeted approach to make its zero-COVID policy more effective. Owing to the economic slowdown and public unrest and protests, China is taking measures to ease its travel restrictions and testing requirements.
China eases travel restrictions; Beijing and Shenzhen remove COVID testing for public transport
Capital Beijing announced that people won’t need to carry negative test results to avail public transport from December 5 onwards. Shenzhen soon followed suit. However, people will still need to carry a negative result obtained within the last 48 hours to enter and access other public forums like shopping malls, many of which are gradually opening up.
Beijing has also shut many of its testing booths, following protests from citizens around the mandatory requirement of negative COVID test results to enter places like supermarkets and the subways. China’s biggest cities like Chengdu and Tianjin are also following suit.
More than three years into the pandemic, China has been one of the worst affected. It has previously announced nation-wide lockdowns and frequent testing. On easing its COVID safety protocols, China said that it needs to take measures to save lives without overwhelming its healthcare system.
Mandatory quarantine for all travellers visiting China is still in place.
Further reduction on China travel restrictions
China is set to further reduce testing requirements and even COVID-positive people and their close contacts to isolate at home under certain conditions, according to Reuters. This is a significant measure in China’s ease of COVID restrictions, as earlier, it would lock down entire communities, sometimes for weeks, after even just one positive case.