China eases quarantine and lockdown measures in move away from strict Zero Covid rules

China has announced that people with asymptomatic or mild Covid will be able to quarantine at home rather than quarantine camps. People who fall under this category will be able to isolate at home and self-report test results.

It is seen as a significant easing of the country’s Zero Covid strategy.

The changing of the rules comes a week after significant anti-lockdown protests took place across the country.

Forcing people into a centralised quarantine was very unpopular as it separated families and saw people forced into the facilities against their will.

A number of videos have shown guards dragging people out of their homes to these centralised facilities.

For example last week footage showed a man in Hangzhou fighting off officials.

This change is the strongest sign yewt that China is moving to “live with the virus” as is the case elsewhere in the world.

In November, crowds took to the streets in several cities to protest against lockdowns and pandemic restrictions.

Protests in some areas turned into open criticism of the Communist Party and President Xi Jinping.

READ MORE: ‘Strongman’ Xi Jinping’s ‘digital totalitarianism’ in China

However, this is dened by Chinese officials.

One of China’s most senior pandemic officials, vice-premier Sun Chunlan, said that the virus was becoming less dangerous, according to Reuters

She said: “The country is facing a new situation and new tasks in epidemic prevention and control as the pathogenicity of the Omicron virus weakens, more people are vaccinated and experience in containing the virus is accumulated.”

Officially 5,200 people have died from Covid during the pandemic out of a population of 1.4 billion.

This equates to three Covid deaths in a million, compared to 2,400 per million in the UK and 3,000 per million in the US.