Covid-19: the epidemic is ebbing but China will further tighten its measures

After a period of family celebrations, Beijing decides to impose a compulsory test to access a number of public activities, in addition to the vaccine. History to stem for good this outbreak of omicron.

Beijing will strengthen measures to fight against Covid-19 by making new tests compulsory, authorities in the Chinese capital announced on Saturday. The move comes on the first day of a long weekend on Labor Day.

Chinese people usually take the opportunity to travel around the country but this year the worst outbreak of cases since early 2020 is forcing many to stay at home. Beijing announced on Saturday that after these five public holidays, access to public spaces will be further limited. From May 5, a negative Covid test carried out within the past week will be mandatory to enter “many public places and to take public transport”according to an announcement made on the capital’s WeChat account.

For activities such as sporting events and group travel, participants will also need to present a negative Covid test taken within the last 48 hours, along with proof that they have been fully vaccinated. Covid tests will be free for residents starting Tuesday, state media said.

Faced with the highly contagious micron variant, the Chinese authorities have reinforced their zero Covid policy, carrying out massive screenings and confinements as soon as the first cases appear. These strict measures have led to a slowdown in the country’s economy and growing frustration among the people.

Half fewer cases than in early April

China recorded more than 10,700 new positive cases on Saturday across the country, almost all of them in Shanghai, the economic capital. The metropolis in the east of the country, confined for almost a month, has reported more than 10,100 cases in the past 24 hours.

However, this represents only almost half of the daily cases that were recorded at the beginning of April. In Beijing, the number of cases has risen to 54, according to the National Health Commission.

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