After unprecedented protests against the health restrictions in force in China, more and more cities are deciding to relax their anti-Covid measures.
In Shanghai, from Monday, residents will once again be able to take buses, trains and subways, but also visit certain public places such as parks, without having to present a negative PCR test dating back less than 48 hours, Reuters said on Sunday. .
The financial center of China is thus following in the footsteps of the country's capital, Beijing, where users will however have to continue to present a health pass confirming that they have not crossed a "high risk" zone.
A relaxation also implemented since Friday in Chengdu (southwest) and Zhengzhou, which is home to the largest iPhone factory in the world and where many neighborhoods have been confined in recent weeks.
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In Beijing, the purchase of cough, sore throat or fever medication no longer requires registration, Reuters said.
In the capital, again, health authorities on Thursday called on hospitals to stop refusing care in the absence of a PCR test within 48 hours.
China has experienced a series of deaths, when care or relief has been delayed by strict anti-Covid measures.
Authorities in various parts of Beijing have also announced in recent days that people who test positive can self-quarantine at home.
The industrial city of Dongguan (south) also indicated that residents meeting “specific conditions” could carry out quarantine at home – without detailing these conditions.
The technology megalopolis of Shenzhen (south) has applied a similar policy since Wednesday.
Towards a national relaxation?
The anger of the Chinese towards the hard line in the fight against the pandemic had spilled over into the streets last weekend, a mobilization on a scale not seen in decades.
China quickly sought to quell the movement, with a heavy police presence on the streets and increased surveillance of social media.
At the same time, several cities have begun to ease restrictions, in particular by abandoning mass daily testing, one of the tedious pillars of “zero-Covid”, in place for almost three years.
In Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang (northwest), where a deadly fire on November 26 sparked the first demonstrations, authorities announced on Friday that supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and ski resorts would be gradually reopened.
This city of more than four million inhabitants has undergone one of the longest confinements in China.
At the national level, members of the government have also signaled that a broader relaxation of the policy could be envisaged.
On Wednesday, before the Ministry of Health, Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chunlan acknowledged the low dangerousness of the Omicron variant and the improvement in the vaccination rate.
A central figure in Chinese policy in the face of the pandemic, Sun Chunlan did not mention the term “zero Covid”, giving hope that this strategy would soon be lightened.