Amid anti-government protests, several Chinese cities end mandatory COVID tests for public transport

Amid anti-government protests, several Chinese cities end mandatory COVID tests for public transport

On several Chinese cities such as Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, and Shenzhen on Saturday removed mandatory COVID-19 tests for public transport. The authorities have taken a soft stand on their COVID-related rules amid protests against the government across the country. State media reported on Saturday that citizens in Chengdu and Guangzhou do not need to show their COVID test reports when entering most public places.

Authorities in Beijing announced on Friday that starting next Monday, buses, and subways would no longer be required to display nucleic acid test reports from 48 hours earlier. However, passengers will have to wear masks, officials said. Several cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, witnessed massive demonstrations over the weekend against the strict Covid lockdown, following which restrictions were eased. People talked about livelihoods being affected by this lockdown.

The demonstrations also demanded the ouster of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). Xi told European Union President Charles Michel on Thursday that the three-year-long pandemic prompted student demonstrations. Following the demonstrations in China, security has increased in all major cities. Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Ryan, Director of Emergencies of the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the organization is happy with the easing of some Covid-related restrictions in China.