China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) instructed all regional authorities not to impose unauthorized citywide or district-wide lockdowns. The regulation is to control the country’s coronavirus policies and enhance the country’s faltering service industry, Hong Kong media outlet SCMP reported.

The NDRC instructed all regional authorities not to impose citywide or district-wide lockdowns beyond relevant coronavirus prevention and control measures issued by the central authorities or cut off public transport unnecessarily or without approval.

According to the commission, local governments must obtain approval from central authorities before implementing “necessary” lockdowns or installing extra control measures.

The same day, the NDRC continued to call for compulsory coronavirus testing in the services sector.

The NDRC said, “We will resolutely avoid both the tendencies of ‘loosening prevention and control’ and ‘excessive prevention and control.'”

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, China’s tourism revenue fell by 3.9% from a year ago during the Lunar New Year holiday period earlier this month.

In January, Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index informed that China’s services industry expanded at its slowest pace in five months.

Larry Hu, a chief China economist at Macquarie Capital, said this week, “Now as things are returning to normal in the U.S., consumers there are witnessing a spending rotation from goods to services. By comparison, China’s services sectors are still under pressure from the current zero-Covid policy.”

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