China is easing Covid restrictions on travel and production

From Tuesday, public places like these supermarkets in Beijing will no longer require people to show evidence of a recent negative virus test.

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BEIJING — In a major easing of COVID-19 controls, the Chinese government said on Wednesday that people will no longer need to show negative results for viruses or health codes in order to travel between different parts of the country.

Chinese authorities have also said that unless an area is designated as high risk, local work and production cannot be stopped.

The announcement on the National Health Commission website formalized other recent changes to Covid controls, such as allowing more people to be quarantined at home.

The measures also said that other than facilities such as nursing homes, elementary and middle schools and health clinics, venues should not require negative virus tests or health code checks.

In an example of how strict Covid controls are in mainland China, the capital, Beijing, this year increasingly required people to scan a health code using a smartphone app in order to gain entry to public spaces. The health code then had to show a negative virus test result within the last two or three days.

If the health code determines that the user has been in contact with a Covid infection or risk area, the app will display a pop-up, making it impossible for the person to enter public spaces, or to board a train or plane until the pop-up appears. Until it was resolved.

D.C. relaxed health code screening requirements on Tuesday.

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Despite the national relaxation in Covid measures in mid-November, the wave of infections and the subsequent domestic implementation of China’s strict non-covid spread policy only added to people’s frustration with the controls. Holding students and groups of persons Public protests During the last weekend of November.

In the past several days, local authorities across the country have canceled many virus testing requirements.

“When it comes to implementation, there are a lot of inconsistencies between different departments and different regions,” Dan Wang, chief economist for Shanghai at Hang Seng China, said Wednesday morning on CNBC.Squawk Box Asia. “

“We don’t know if real restrictions, or a ‘return to normal’ could, in fact, happen within the next six months, because we could see that for smaller cities, for example. Changes to Covid restrictions are still behind what It’s happening in Beijing and Shanghai.”

— CNBC’s Jihye Lee contributed to this report.

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