No more negative Covid tests to be able to enter supermarkets to shop, to go to the office to work or to take the subway. This was decided by the Beijing authorities by easing the restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after a series of nationwide street protests against the Covid-zero policy introduced by President Xi Jinping. “Beijing prepares for life again,” read a headline in the government newspaper ‘China Daily’, adding that people are “gradually embracing” the slow return to normalcy.
Beijing’s new line follows street protests, but also the awareness that the disease caused by Covid-19 has become less serious. Tong Zhaohui, director of the Beijing Institute of Respiratory Diseases, said the latest variant of Omicron caused fewer cases of serious illness than in the 2009 global flu epidemic, Chinese state television reported.