China Relaxes COVID Restrictions After Nationwide Protests

The Chinese government said it would be easing strict COVID-19 restrictions as of Wednesday, December 7, following recent nationwide anti-lockdown protests.

China’s National Health Commission published a new set of COVID measures which will allow at-home isolation for close contacts and those with mild symptoms. Previously, close contacts and positive cases were mandated to stay in quarantine facilities and hospitals.

China’s State Council held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, detailing the new measures.

Negative COVID tests will no longer be necessary for domestic travel, according to the National Health Commission, and local authorities will no longer be allowed to impose strict lockdowns unless the situation is deemed high risk. The government has also pledged to improve vaccination rates among senior citizens.

This easing of restrictions comes after a wave of anti-lockdown protests across China. Credit: Chinese Police via Storyful