China continues to relax corona rules – politics

After demonstrations against the Corona measures in China there are further relaxations. In some cities, including the capital Beijing, some test rules are said to be abolished. There had been violent protests last weekend – probably the largest since the democracy movement in 1989. In response to this, there have already been isolated relaxations in some regions. The construction of some camp cities in which suspected corona cases and infected people are isolated has been stopped.

In Beijing, people are now allowed to use the subway without first showing a negative test. From Monday, this should also apply to shopping in the supermarket. Some test stations in the capital were already closed or dismantled on Saturday. But because tests are still mandatory in many areas, for example to go to work, there are reports of long queues in front of the remaining test stations. In Shenzhen, too, people can use local public transport without a test, and parks there are now accessible without restrictions. The cities of Chengdu and Tianjin had already announced something similar.

However, this is not a departure from the strict zero-Covid policy. Analysts also do not expect that China could take this step in the near future. “The goal is still to bring the number of cases close to zero,” says an assessment by the economic research company Capital Economics. Pictures and videos continue to circulate on social media, which are intended to show the continued tough measures: long queues in front of PCR test centers and people who, despite negative tests, are picked up by the authorities at home to be quarantined.

Infected people will soon be allowed to isolate themselves at home

China now wants to focus more on a higher vaccination rate. It is still very low, especially among older people. According to the Beijing Health Commission, just 40 percent of all people over the age of 80 are triple vaccinated. What the vaccination campaign could look like is still unclear. Western vaccines are still not approved in China. The strict rules should therefore be maintained for some time. If the numbers rise even higher, there is a risk of a wave with many infections and victims. On Saturday, China reported 32,827 locally transmitted new infections, almost 2,000 fewer than the day before.

At least as far as the isolation and quarantine rules are concerned, China could decide to relax somewhat more far-reaching. Corona positives should be allowed to isolate themselves at home under certain conditions. According to observers, China is currently preparing such a step.

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