The pandemic barriers are tumbling down all across mainland China, after Beijing indicated it is distancing itself from the strict zero-Covid-19 regime that has blighted daily life in the country for almost three years on end.
Most significantly, home quarantine will be allowed in future, and the QR code that has been mandatory to enter most public places is to be scrapped, TDM reported.
Under the guidelines released on Wednesday, people will be able to enter most places without showing a negative test result or their health code – a significant step after nearly three years of disruption.
In another massive change, asymptomatic cases or people displaying only mild symptoms will be allowed to quarantine at home instead of being confined to a government facility.
The new guidelines on lockdowns urge authorities to “ensure the normal functioning of society and basic medical services,” saying areas that aren’t designated high-risk should not restrict people’s movements or close businesses.
However the elderly in particular have been advised to get inoculated as soon as possible, with health authorities urged to step up their vaccination campaigns.
The new rules also make domestic travel easier, with cross-regional travellers no longer needing to provide a negative test result or their health code, or test upon arrival.
In Guangzhou, health authorities announced the simultaneous implementation of new measures to optimise prevention and control. From now on, people coming to Guangzhou will no longer be subjected to an “arrival inspection” and “three inspections in three days”, while close contacts, asymptomatic infections and mild Covid-19 cases can be isolated at home.
The quarantine period for close contacts has been shortened from “5+3” to five days while in Beijing, negative tests and health code checks will no longer be carried out after arrival.