Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

China eases Covid-19 lockdown and testing requirements

China has announced a series of measures rolling back some of its most draconian anti-Covid-19 restrictions (Andy Wong/AP)
China has announced a series of measures rolling back some of its most draconian anti-Covid-19 restrictions (Andy Wong/AP)

China has announced a series of measures rolling back some of its toughest anti-Covid-19 restrictions.

The move includes limiting the scale of lockdown to individual apartment floors and buildings, rather than entire districts and neighbourhoods.

People who test positive for the virus will be able to isolate at home rather than in overcrowded and unsanitary field hospitals, and schools where there have been no outbreaks must return to in-class teaching.

The announcement follows recent street protests in several cities over the strict “zero-Covid” policy – which has been blamed for upending ordinary life, travel and employment while dealing a harsh blow to the national economy – which is now entering its fourth year.

People with mild cases “can recover by themselves without special medical care,” said Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist of the China Centres for Disease Control, on his social media account.

“The good news is that the data show the proportion of severe cases is low,” said Mr Wu.

The latest changes are “small steps” in a gradual process aimed at ending restrictions, said Liang Wannian, a member of an experts group advising the National Health Commission, at a news conference.

“We will look at it, study and judge, and analyse again,” said Mr Liang, one of China’s most prominent anti-epidemic experts.

The government’s goal is “to return to the state before the epidemic, but the realisation of the goal must have conditions,” Mr Liang said.

China has sought to maintain the hard-line policy while keeping the world’s second-largest economy humming.

But public frustration with the restrictions appears to have finally swayed the opinion of officials who had championed zero-Covid as superior to the approach of foreign nations that have opened up in hopes of learning to live with the virus.