Northern Chinese region including Beijing to ease COVID-19 curbs

Northern Chinese region including Beijing to ease COVID-19 curbs
  • Clock-gray 01:52
  • calendar-gray 30 April 2020

A populous region in northern China that includes Beijing will ease restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, as the country gradually transitions to a new state of normal amid dwindling cases of COVID-19, APA reports citing Reuters.

The municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin, as well as neighbouring Hebei province, will lower their COVID-19 emergency response level to level II from level I starting at midnight on Thursday, their respective governments said on Wednesday.

Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are among the last few areas in China that have stuck to the highest level of emergency response on the four-tier system. Many other provinces have eased curbs to restart and repair local economies, with the national daily tally for new infections in the single-digits compared with thousands of cases every day in early February.

With the downgrade, Beijing will remove 14-day quarantine requirements for people arriving from low-risk parts of the country. People in quarantine at home or at a centralised venue will also be released from their obligation to isolate themselves, Beijing’s vice secretary-general Chen Bei told a news conference.

The Chinese capital will additionally not require residents returning from those areas to be quarantined on their return.

The decision by Beijing to lower its emergency response measures came on the same day that China said parliament would begin its key annual meeting in the capital on May 22.

Beijing has reported 13 cases so far in April, with the last infections confirmed 14 days ago.

The emergency response downgrade will mean people in Beijing will not be required to wear masks outdoors.

However, the lifting of quarantine rules in the Chinese capital does not apply to overseas arrivals and people travelling from central Hubei province and other high-risk places.

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