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June 2023

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COVID restrictions eased in major cities of China


Beijing: Following protests by citizens across China, the authorities are removing COVID-19 limitations one city at a time, with Beijing and Shenzhen removing the requirement for negative testing in order to use public transportation.

The citizens took to the streets because they were dissatisfied with the government’s rigorous implementation of anti-virus laws. China continues to report daily COVID-19 infections in China that hover close to all-time highs, according to sources.

Southern Shenzhen officials have clarified that the public does not need to provide a negative COVID test certificate to use public transportation, access to pharmacies, parks, and tourist sites. The decision was made after similar action was taken by two southern cities, Chengdu and Tianjin.

Starting from Monday, a negative COVID test certificate won’t be required for the public to use public transportation, said Beijing’s authorities, but, to enter places like shopping malls—which have progressively reopened with numerous restaurants and cafés offering takeaway services—a negative test acquired within the previous 48 hours is still necessary.

Public testing stations in Beijing are also being closed, which has received both praise and criticism.

The Chinese government has taken steps to lessen the disruption of COVID-19 rules on daily life in the aftermath of recent demonstrations, which broke out on November 25 after at least 10 people burned to death in a fire at a partially locked-down apartment building in the western city of Urumqi. However, Chinese authorities are also continuing to follow a “zero-COVID” strategy.

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