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China’s capital adjusts to life after Covid-19 policy reversal

The Chinese capital showed tentative signs of a return to normal Thursday after a sudden reversal of a hardline pandemic policy that hammered the world’s second-biggest economy and ignited rare protests.

Beijing’s National Health Commission on Wednesday announced a nationwide loosening of its zero-Covid restrictions, reducing the scope of mandatory testing, allowing some positive cases to quarantine at home, and ending large-scale lockdowns.

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A major relaxation of President Xi Jinping’s flagship pandemic policy, the country’s top health body said the shift in tactics was intended to help the country “keep abreast of the changing times”.

In the capital, where a surge in cases had forced many to stay at home and kept businesses and schools shut, traffic was back to about half its usual intensity on Thursday, according to a report obtained by LN247.

Under the new guidelines, the frequency and scope of PCR testing have been reduced.

But while the number of testing stands around Beijing has decreased, those that remain are still busy, with many workplaces continuing to require negative tests.

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