Several Chinese cities have started easing COVID testing and quarantine rules, after demonstrations against strict lockdown measures swept across the country.
Authorities have announced a shift to more-targeted measures, amid a wave of angry protests — the largest in decades — against the country’s draconian zero-COVID measures.
Shenzhen, in southeastern China, is dropping a requirement for a negative COVID test to use public transport or enter parks; Beijing shuttered many testing booths, as it halted its demand for a negative test to enter supermarkets, and prepared to lift the requirement for subways, Reuters reported. Chengdu and Tianjin have made similar changes.
The cities of Guangzhou and Chonqing also announced they would lift some measures after clashes between protesters and police earlier this week.
China’s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has reportedly announced a “new stage” in the the country’s COVID policies, pointing to “the decreasing pathogenicity of the Omicron variant, the increasing vaccination rate and the accumulating experience of outbreak control and prevention.”
China reported 33,073 COVID infections for Friday — down from 34,980 new cases on Thursday. Official numbers put the total death toll of the pandemic at just over 5,200.
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