China has announced the most sweeping changes to its resolute anti-COVID regime since the pandemic began three years ago, relaxing rules that halted the spread of the virus but sparked protests and crippled the second-largest economy in the world.
President Xi Jinping, who views China’s relentless fight against COVID as one of his greatest achievements, presided over a meeting of the Communist Party’s Political Bureau on Tuesday and announced the policy changes.
The relaxation of rules, which includes allowing infected individuals with mild symptoms to quarantine at home and eliminating testing for domestic travelers, is the clearest indication that Beijing is relaxing its zero-COVID policy to allow people to live with the disease.
Many of the changes announced by the National Health Commission (NHC) reflected steps already taken in various cities and regions in recent days in response to protests against strict COVID controls.
Shanghai was among the first cities to announce that it would implement the new home quarantine guidelines and eliminate entry restrictions for travelers. The Shanghai Disneyland theme park has been scheduled to reopen to the public on Dec 8.
Numerous investors applauded the change, stating that the easing could revitalize China’s sluggish economy and currency and boost global growth. (NNT)