Authorities suddenly lifted COVID restrictions in the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Chongqing on Wednesday, November 30. The easing of COVID curbs came the day after a protest broke out in Guangzhou, where several people clashed with white hazmat-suited riot police.

According to The Guardian News, nearly half of the districts across the southern city of Guangzhou abruptly announced an easing of COVID lockdowns on Wednesday afternoon. 

In official announcements, local officials were instructed to remove various “temporary control orders” and to reclassify some regions as low-risk. They also declared an end to mass PCR testing.

One resident said that apartment security staff left the area within an hour of the announcement. Also, neighbors quickly left carrying luggage.

City officials said the southwestern city of Chongqing would allow COVID close contacts who meet specific requirements to quarantine at home.

Not all districts are within the scope of lifting COVID curbs. For example, Haizhu, where most of the city’s COVID cases have been reported, is still under restrictions. 

Haizhu is a district of more than 1.8 million people. The majority of Guangzhou’s COVID cases were found there. As a result, most of the area has been in lockdown since late October. 

In many recent posts online, crowds have clashed with white hazmat-suited riot police amid protests against the country’s COVID restrictions.

Reuters news agency confirmed the videos were captured in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district.

According to social media posts, the clashes occurred in Guangzhou on Tuesday night. Disputes over lockdown restrictions allegedly led to the protest.

In one video posted on Twitter, dozens of riot police in while protective suits held shields over their heads. They made their way down a street in Haizhu.

People threw objects at the police during the clash.

After that, several people were seen in handcuffs while police took them away.

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