onsdag 7. desember 2022

China scraps some of its most controversial Covid rules, in significant step toward reopening

China announced sweeping changes to its national pandemic response on Wednesday, the clearest and most significant sign yet that the central government is moving away from its strict zero-Covid approach that prompted protests across the country.

In a statement reported by state broadcaster CCTV, China’s State Council unveiled 10 new guidelines that loosen some restrictions – most notably, allowing home quarantine and largely scrapping the health QR code that has been mandatory for entering most public places.  Local governments had already taken steps this week that indicated a possible change in direction – including some major cities loosening requirements on Covid testing.

But this is the first official change in Covid policy on a national level – a notable turnaround by Beijing, which for the past three years has insisted that unwavering restrictions are the only effective way to stamp out the highly transmissible virus.  Here are some of the biggest changes.