China’s capital Beijing is easing some pandemic rules starting December 6.

As state-backed China Daily reported, people have been allowed to enter public areas without a valid negative test result. But health code scanning remains a hurdle. Applicable areas include parks, supermarkets, offices, and airports. 

The same applies to Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport.

But negative test results are still a mandate for indoor areas, such as cafes, bars, karaoke rooms, schools, and kindergartens.

Restaurants are also preparing to welcome back diners, with the publication saying protocols such as code scanning, temperature checks, and disinfections are required.

Anti-lockdown protests have receded in the country, with Reuters confirming a campus rally at Nanjing Tech University on December 5. Unlike other countries when lockdowns were lifted, there was a slight increase in the flow of traffic in Beijing and Chongqing.

Imke Wouters, a retail and consumer goods partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman, said, “People have become cautious. So even when they can travel, we don’t think they will come back right away.”

Loosening restrictions has stirred fear of higher transmission risks, prompting the Chinese to ramp up purchases of COVID-19 antigen kits and medicines for fevers and colds.

Reuters reported that on the pharmacy platform JD Health, sales of antigen test kits increased 344% from the week between November 28 and December 4 compared to a week earlier. Similar boosts have also been observed in other online medicine platforms and pharmaceutical companies.

A Tongzhitang Dongdan drugstore in downtown Beijing ran out of fever medication on December 5. A shop assistant said restocking might take a week, adding, “I have never seen so many customers come to buy fever medication in one day.”

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