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‘It’s time to open up’: What’s changed as China eases strict COVID-19 rules

‘It’s time to open up’: What’s changed as China eases strict COVID-19 rules


The Chinese public is no longer required to show a green health code on their phone to enter public buildings and spaces, except for “nursing homes, medical institutions, kindergartens, middle and high schools”.

The widespread use of health codes to track the whereabouts of citizens has raised concerns about privacy, official abuse and data theft.

Five city officials in central China’s Zhengzhou were punished in June for deliberately blushing the health codes of thousands of citizens to prevent them from protesting a banking scandal.

Despite the changes, China’s borders remain largely closed, with incoming travelers still required to quarantine for a week.


Citizens cheered the prospect of change that could see China slowly reappear in a world three years after the virus erupted in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Wednesday’s announcement quickly rose to the top of the most-watched topics on China’s Weibo platform, with many hoping for a return to normalcy after a series of weeks of lockdown that left dozens of people with mental suffering. millions of people.

“It’s time for our lives to return to normal and for China to return to the world,” one Weibo user wrote.

“It’s time to open, it’s been three years already, we have to open completely,” a Beijing resident, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

“People need to work and eat, you can’t just tell people not to come out of their homes anymore,” added another.

“If people are worried now they should stay home and avoid going out, others should work and get on with their lives.”

Dozens of people also flocked to the Weibo account of Li Wenliang, a doctor from Wuhan who died in 2020 after raising the alarm about COVID-19 and whose last post was an online refuge for those seeking to vent about their personal problems and public policies. .

“Doctor we made it, we are going to be free,” one user wrote. “Daylight is here,” wrote another.

Others were more nervous about an outbreak.

“We are very worried, now we are opening up fully, the government doesn’t care, what should we do if the epidemic situation gets worse?” Meng Qingcheng, 60, a migrant worker, told AFP.

“It will be more difficult for us to find a job,” he added. “We are also scared, we don’t want to be infected.”

Searches for the country’s largest travel app, Ctrip, for airfare ahead of Chinese New Year have reached their highest level in three years, The Paper reported.

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