Home Business Live news updates: Beijing eases testing rules in further unwinding of zero-Covid policies

Live news updates: Beijing eases testing rules in further unwinding of zero-Covid policies

by Atlanta Business Journal
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 show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering commercial buildings and supermarkets, authorities said on Tuesday, as the Chinese capital tentatively unwinds some tenets of its strict zero-Covid approach.

Tests will also no longer be required to enter “all kinds of public spaces” and residential complexes, the city said. Residents will still have to produce negative test results taken with 48 hours to enter a range of leisure, bathing and dining facilities, indoor gyms, care homes, day care centres, medical institutions and junior and middle schools.

China has slowly relaxed some of its zero-Covid policies since last week, with the southern city of Guangzhou lifting lockdowns in some districts despite near-record daily caseloads and a number of cities easing testing and quarantine requirements over the past few days.

Beijing’s testing announcement followed a similar move from Shanghai, China’s most populous city, the day before.

The easing has buoyed Chinese markets, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises index up 5.1 per cent and the CSI 300 adding 2 per cent on Monday.

The easing followed rare protests that rippled across the country last month. China has sought to eliminate flare-ups of the virus with a playbook of mass testing, lockdowns and quarantines, but the approach has been challenged by the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant this year.

Official case numbers have fallen this week, with the country reporting 27,164 new locally transmitted cases on Tuesday for the day before, down from a peak of nearly 40,000 last week.

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