'Why didn't we do this earlier': China cheers Covid easing, travel searches rise

Updated on Dec 07, 2022 04:15 PM IST

Covid In China: Wednesday's announcement quickly soared to the most viewed topic on China's Weibo platform, Reuters reported.

Covid In China: Two men wearing face masks walk on a street, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks continue in Shanghai, China.(Reuters)
Covid In China: Two men wearing face masks walk on a street, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks continue in Shanghai, China.(Reuters)

Searches on Chinese travel sites surged as social media platforms were flooded with delight and relief on Wednesday as residents cheered the biggest loosening of Covid curbs. As China altered its Covid restrictions- one of the world's strictest- Travel platforms from Trip.com to Qunar said searches for air tickets to cities such as the tourist spots of Sanya and Harbin jumped as much as seven times, Reuters reported.

Read more: Covid should be renamed in China, medical expert says. Here's why

The relaxation of rules includes allowing infected people with mild or no symptoms to quarantine at home and dropping testing for people travelling domestically. Frustration with the rules boiled over into widespread protests late last month.

But Wednesday's announcement quickly soared to the most viewed topic on China's Weibo platform, Reuters reported.

"The epidemic fight has gone on for three years, this is a history-making day," one Weibo-user said.

"Daylight is here," wrote another.

"A year ago the rest of the world did this, so why on earth didn't we do this earlier?" one user wrote on WeChat. "The people are so exhausted," wrote another.

Read more: China announces nationwide loosening of Covid curbs after massive protests

The news was also welcomed by foreign business groups as the European Chamber of Commerce in China said, "Timely implementation will help stabilise China’s economy and get life back to normal."

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said it viewed any policy that pointed to opening up as positive, Reuters reported.

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