China is adjusting its COVID-19 control measures: Residents no longer need to register their personal information to buy medicine for fever, coughs, sore throats or similar afflictions; negative nucleic acid test results are no longer required to enter public areas, including shopping centers, supermarkets, parks, scenic spots, or take public transportation.
Since COVID-19 first hit China in early 2020, the Chinese Government has refined its related health policies as the virus mutated and clinical data accumulated. Omicron variants are now the principal cause of coronavirus flareups in China, so the country has optimized its control measures considering the changes in the transmissibility and potency of said variants, including the rates of severe illness and mortality. The aim is to maximize the protection of people's interests and minimize the impact of COVID-19 on social and economic development.
The adjustments are considered an easing of control measures, which benefit the food and beverage, tourism, culture and entertainment industries. The food and beverage industry in particular will be able to accelerate its recovery since the adjustments will stimulate consumption.
In the past three years, China adopted strict control measures to safeguard people's lives and prevent mass mortality. All these actions were useful, though they did significantly affect daily life and production. Today, some cities in China, such as Beijing, are seeing COVID-19 flareups, but expert analysis has demonstrated that the rates of severe illness and mortality are now lower than those of influenza. This makes the relaxation of measures a science-based and reasonable decision.
People will still need to protect themselves, for example, by wearing a mask and frequently disinfecting their hands. Negative nucleic acid test results are still required to enter public venues involving seniors, infants and children. In the meantime, China has been stepping up its efforts to upgrade the service capacity of COVID-19 treatment and medicine to prevent huge hospital runs and medicine shortages. For instance, the country continues to promote vaccination nationwide, accelerates the research and development of targeted medication and potent neutralizing antibodies, and uses rapid antigen testing in communities to reduce the time and medical resources used for virus screening.