China Eases COVID-19 Restrictions After Rare Protests

Local authorities have confirmed that China’s capital Beijing is no longer requiring a negative COVID-19 test to enter supermarkets and commercial buildings.

Residents must still provide a negative test result to enter other venues, including schools, bars, karaoke lounges, internet cafes, indoor gyms and nursing homes.

This is the latest loosening of the country’s tough “zero COVID” strategy following rare protests.

The protests, which spread to more than 20 Chinese cities, began on November 25th amid claims that COVID curbs in far-western Xinjiang had contributed to the death toll of an apartment building fire that killed at least 10 people.

Shanghai, China’s biggest city, became the latest metropolis to scrap tests for public transport and outdoor areas such as parks and tourist attractions, following similar moves by Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Tianjin.