Chinese government announced that it is lifting its strictest covid policies, including quarantining people with mild or no covid-19 symptoms in state facilities. tests are no longer necessary for most venues and travel within the country is becoming easier. the national health commission has called for a faster vaccine rollout for the elderly, particularly those aged 60-79 and 80 and above, and vice-premier sun chunlan has highlighted that china is entering “a new situation” in the pandemic.
Announcement was made at the start of october, with the chinese new year in january 2022 being a potential date for borders to be reopened. protests in some cities signified the biggest display of defiance in decades, and reaction on chinese social media ranges from relief to questions about why the change has been so drastic and sudden.
Move was made in order to help the nation exit covid with minimal damage, and experts have cautioned that any easing of the zero-covid approach in china should be done gradually. vaccinating the elderly is seen as a critical step, and professor ivan hung from hong kong university has stated that three doses of vaccination are necessary. china is now looking to “live with the virus” as the rest of the world does, rather than trying to eliminate it, and there have been reports of poor living conditions and inadequate staff in some quarantine camps.