Updated Nov 11, 2022, 8:16am EST
East Asia

China eases some zero-COVID rules

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China eased some of its zero-COVID rules on Friday including reducing quarantine times for travelers and close contacts of infected people.

Security personnel in protective suits stand at the gate of a residential compound that is under lockdown as outbreaks of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue in Beijing, October 22, 2022.
REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
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The restrictions have eased despite China grappling with some of its highest case counts in several months at a time when Beijing has come under global scrutiny for pursuing some of the world’s strictest COVID-19 rules.

On Friday the government said centralized quarantine times for close contacts and travelers will go down from seven days to five. But it will still be necessary to follow a further three-day observation period at home.

China also scrapped a penalty on airlines that bring new COVID-19 cases into the country, and ended secondary contact tracing.

The majority of China’s restrictions remain in place.

In Guangzhou millions of people have been told to stay at home following a recent surge in cases. The measures have prompted fears of an intense, Shanghai-style lockdown, which saw food shortages as the entire city was locked down.