Live news updates: Beijing loosens testing rules to further loosen Covid-free policies

A woman wearing a mask carries a grocery bag on the streets of Beijing

Beijing residents can shop in supermarkets without providing proof of a negative Covid-19 test result © Andy Wong/AP

Beijing will no longer require residents to present proof of a negative test for Covid-19 before entering commercial buildings and supermarkets, authorities said on Tuesday, as the Chinese capital temporarily lifted dropped some tenets of the strict Covid-free approach.

The city said inspections would also no longer be required to enter “all types of public spaces” and residential areas. Residents will still have to present a negative test result within 48 hours to gain entry to a range of recreational, bathing and dining facilities, indoor gyms, care homes, primary care centers, and more. day, medical facilities, and middle and high school.

China has been gradually easing some of its Covid-free policies since last week, with the southern city of Guangzhou lifting its lockdown in some counties despite a near-record daily infection and some The city eased testing and quarantine requirements in the past few days.

Beijing’s test announcement follows a similar move from Shanghai, China’s most populous city, a day earlier.

The easing boosted the Chinese market, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises index up 5.1% and the CSI 300 up 2% on Monday.

The easing comes after rare protests spread across the country last month. China has sought to eliminate the virus outbreak with a plan of mass testing, blockade and isolation, but this approach has been challenged by the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant during the year. now.

The official case count has fallen this week, with the country reporting 27,164 new locally transmitted cases on Tuesday for the previous day, down from a peak of nearly 40,000 last week.


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