China Relaxed COVID-19 Restrictions: After a series of protests, China has decided to ease restrictions imposed after the pandemic outbreak. In this latest development, which some in China are calling the new-found-freedom, people with asymptomatic COVID cases are allowed home isolation. What does this mean for Chinese people?

China relaxes COVID-19 restrictions, allowed home isolation for asymptomatic cases

In this significant step towards reopening the country, Beijing said that people do not have to show negative tests anymore to travel between different parts of China.

In this step, aimed at keeping the balance between health and the economy, some positive patients are allowed to quarantine at home.

A man is tested for the coronavirus at a hospital in Wuhan, China

What leads to this major relaxation in a country which has seen some quite intense restrictions since the outbreak? Some say that the ongoing protests have something to do with it.

Protests in China:

Starting from around November 25, thousands of people took to the streets in different cities in China, asking for some of the COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted. It needs to be mentioned here that people had to go through mass testing and strict rules to avoid the further spread of COVID-19.

As time passed, people got more exhausted with everything that was going on and demanded a bit of relaxation. First, which started as a whisper, later turned out to be a mass protest with masses coming out to record their protests.

Blank Paper:

A relatively different method was also adopted in these protests as people were seen to be holding a blank sheet of paper.

Probably, the purpose was to avoid censorship and strict action taken against them. This blank, yet very expressive paper, became the key tactic to record protests.

In a world where voices are controlled and it’s difficult to protest by your words, sometimes other people can understand you by just looking into your eyes.

The same went with the “blank paper” as people used it to get their message out while maintaining a lower risk of prosecution.

Mass protests erupted in various cities in China, demanding relaxation in COVID-19 regulations

Impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the population:

Although the sole purpose of these restrictions was to ensure public safety and the smooth flow of the economy, many believed that they were making things difficult.

According to them, living under these rules was hectic and complicated at the same time.

These restrictions were actually very strict. To know exactly how tough or strict these regulations were, let’s look at one example.

In Beijing, people were asked to scan a health code via their smartphones if they wish to enter some public places.

As a result of this scanning, the health code would then have to show a negative virus test. That test should have been a maximum of 2 or 3 days old.

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If that health code decided that the user was at risk of contracting the virus or came into contact with a Covid risk area, the app would then show a pop-up window.

That pop-up would make it impossible for the user to enter the desired public area. This alert would also mean that the user would not be allowed to board an aeroplane or ride a train. He would have to sort out that pop-up issue first, in order to complete his day-to-day tasks.

This certainly made things life difficult for some. As stoppages are never good for any business, their financial life also took a hit.

Due to the troubles caused by these regulations, whether they were in their social life or were they affecting their work life, there was an increased demand that these restrictions should be lifted.

Lifting Complex Regulations:

In this recent development, Beijing decided to ease some of the regulations. This includes that people would not be required to show a negative virus test or health code in order to travel between countries. This ease in the rules also allowed more patients to quarantine at home.

The restrictions are being lifted as you are reading it in various parts of China. Whether it is the drop of testing requirements to ride the subway in Wuhan, or the roll-back of restrictions in Zhengzhou city, which hosts Apple Inc.’s largest manufacturing plant in China, people are allowed to enter public places and use different modes of transportation without the need of submitting any negative test.

People and experts believe that although this lifting of restrictions is a bit of a late start, it might serve as the first step of proper economic re-opening of China and the life of the general population would be made easier.


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