China Eases Covid Restrictions After Two Months
After a two-month lockdown, the Chinese city of Shanghai, the country's commercial centre and a global trade hub, has loosened Covid restrictions. At midnight local time, restrictions were lifted, allowing most residents of the 25-million-person city to travel freely. However, at least 650,000 people will be confined to their houses.
People infected with Covid face quarantine or hospitalisation under China's overarching policy of "zero Covid." Their close contacts may also be removed to quarantine, and the area around where they live may be closed off again. "This is a day that we dreamed of for a very long time. Everyone has sacrificed a lot. This day has been hard-won and we need to cherish and protect it, and welcome back the Shanghai we are familiar with and missed," Shanghai government spokeswoman Yin Xin told reporters.
However, new laws have been implemented, requiring inhabitants to display a green health code on their smartphones in order to leave their residential areas and enter most places.
Those wishing to use public transportation or access banks or shopping centres must present a negative PCR test certificate issued within the last 72 hours. And the limits on leaving Shanghai to persist, with anyone travelling to another city facing a seven to fourteen-day quarantine upon their return.