COVID-19 testing requirements were relaxed in Beijing, and other cities in China on Monday, December 10th, as the country eased out of a strict zero COVID-19 policy that set off protests across the country. Local authorities in China have begun a slow rollback of the restrictions that have governed daily life for years, encouraged by the central government’s orders for a new approach to fighting the rampant coronavirus.
China’s capital, Beijing, where many businesses have fully reopened, no longer requires commuters to show a negative virus test taken within 48 hours to use public transport. This is a big step in easing restrictions for the local residents. While Shanghai went through a brutal two-month lockdown this year and was under the same rules, residents could enter outdoor venues such as parks and tourist attractions without a recent COVID-19 test.
The neighboring city of Hangzhou went a step further, ending regular mass testing for its 10 million people, except those visiting or living in nursing homes, schools and kindergartens. The World Health Organization has applauded China’s loosening of its zero COVID-19 policy, which came after millions took to the streets in China to call for an end to lockdowns and greater political freedoms.