Some Chinese cities no longer check 48h COVID test results, which experts say cannot be seen as relaxation
Published: Nov 17, 2022 01:40 AM
Residents from Guang'an city in Southwest China's Sichuan Province take nucleic acid test on May 12, 2022. Photo: IC

Residents from Guang'an city in Southwest China's Sichuan Province take nucleic acid test on May 12, 2022. Photo: IC

Some Chinese cities no longer require 48-hour negative test results following the release of 20 measures to optimize COVID-19 response, which include shortened quarantine periods for international arrivals and cancelation of circuit breakers for inbound flights.

East China's Shandong Province, China's second-most populous province with more than 101 million people, has canceled checking of negative COVID-19 test results within 48 hours for people entering Shandong from other provinces. And people returning from high-risk regions do not have to go to centralized quarantine zones but should stay at home for seven days.

The city of Luoyang in Central China's Henan Province is also no longer asking for test results when citizens use public transport or enter public places except schools.

China has also relaxed the previous strict requirements on cross-provincial travel. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on Tuesday that tourists could travel to other provinces with public transportation if they could present 48-hour negative test results.

All these moves came after China's 20 optimized measures to ease some of the burden in combating COVID-19. The measures included shortened quarantine periods from 7+3 (seven days of centralized quarantine and three days of health observation at home) to 5+3 for international arrivals and close contacts of confirmed cases.

The measures are the optimization and improvement of the ninth version of the epidemic prevention and control plan, which has withstood the test of the epidemic and achieved remarkable results, head of China's top health authorities said on Wednesday.

The roll-out of 20 measures to optimize the COVID-19 response is a decision based on scientific evidence and does not mean loosening prevention and control against the virus, still less a lifting of COVID-19 restrictions or "lying flat" in the fight against the epidemic, Chinese government officials stressed on Saturday, noting that strict epidemic prevention and control must be combined with optimized measures, and that "strenuous efforts" are still needed.

Global Times