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China eases up on travel tracking as part of loosening COVID precautions

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

China has been tracking travel as a way to manage the spread of COVID-19, but that practice will end for some travel starting Monday.

According to the Associated Press, that will help reduce the amount of people that are forced to quarantine in the country following travel.

This practice is slowly ending after protests called on China to end strict practices under their zero COVID policies.

The way the tracking has been done is with an app on people’s smartphones that tracks their travels. The app will be disabled at 12 a.m. Monday. While this app is disabled, another app will remain active that restricts the movement of anyone who tests positive or enters an area where there was a recent outbreak.

These apps are all part of a pandemic package that was also being used by local governments to help suppress protests. Protests were happening after dangerous outcomes unfolded due to the strict practices in place. On November 25, 10 people were killed in a fire and many wondered if their inability to escape was directly related to zero COVID policies. These protests called on leader Xi Jinping and the Communist Party to step down.

The loosening of precautions came as a relief to many, but for others it’s sparking a fear of major virus spreads. Testing rates have dropped but cases appear to be on the rise. Fever clinics are still seeing thousands of visitors a day as people buy cold and flu medicines.

People are both happy to see the restrictions lifted, but fearful to see the virus spread. Despite this, the Chinese government has assured residents that things like indoor dining will resume to the way it was prior to COVID-19.

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