China Easing COVID Curbs in More Cities

China Easing COVID Curbs in More Cities

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Shanghai and Urumqi are the last metropolis cities in China to scrap tests for public transport, reopening malls and restaurants for the first time in months.

At least a dozen cities across China have eased COVID-19 restrictions, Aljazeera reported.

Authorities in Shanghai, the largest city in China, announced on Sunday that residents will no longer require a negative test result to use public transportation or enter outdoor spaces like parks and tourist attractions. 

The easing follows similar moves by Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Tianjin, all of which canceled the testing requirement for public transport on Saturday.

In far-western Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, authorities reopened ski resorts and malls, and allowed restaurants to open their doors for takeaway services. They said cinemas, gyms and parks will also be permitted to open gradually, with limits on the number of people allowed to enter the venues.

The steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions have so far varied across Chinese cities.

On Sunday, in the central city of Zhengzhou — home to the world’s largest iPhone plant — authorities said people will no longer have to show COVID-19 test results to take public transport, taxis and to visit “public areas”. But while karaoke bars, beauty salons, internet cafes and other indoor venues have been allowed to reopen, they must check for a negative 48-hour COVID test result.

Nanning, the capital of southern Guangxi, and Wuhan, the central city where the first cases of the new coronavirus emerged three years ago, also canceled on Sunday a requirement for a negative test to take the metro.

Meanwhile, authorities in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district said on Sunday it was advising people with no COVID-19 symptoms not to get tested for the virus unless they belong to certain groups such as front-line workers.

Beijing on Saturday also canceled registration requirements for people wanting to buy fever, cough and sore throat medications. The restriction had been imposed because authorities believed people were using the medication to hide COVID-19 infections.

Authorities in various districts in the capital have also recently announced that people who test positive for the virus can quarantine at home.

New daily case numbers dropped nationwide to 31,824, authorities said on Sunday, which may be due in part to fewer people being tested. Authorities also reported two more COVID-19 deaths.

While nine in 10 Chinese have been vaccinated, just 66 percent of people over 80 have received one shot while 40 percent have received a booster, according to the National Health Commission. It said 86 percent of people over 60 are vaccinated.

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