‘The era is over’ when the Beijing subway removes the mandatory COVID mask wearing rule According to Reuters

© Reuters. People ride the subway during evening rush hour, after the government eased restrictions on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China December 9, 2022. REUTERS/ Ryan Woo/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Beijing Metro has dropped a mandatory mask-wearing requirement for travelers, local media reported on Sunday, days after a Chinese health expert said The threat of COVID-19 to humans is no longer serious.

The move is in line with broader measures by China, which last week said it is no longer required to wear masks when using public transport, according to state media.

“It’s as if an era has passed,” one user said on popular Chinese social e-commerce app Xiaohongshu, as social media was flooded with news of the easing of regulations.

Staff at a subway station in Beijing tore down signs reminding people to wear masks, Beijing Daily reported.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the pandemic is coming to an end, based on World Health Organization data.

China, which lifted strict COVID-19 rules in December, said the latest official data showed a slight increase in the COVID-19 positive rate in early April, according to the Global Times. However, respiratory experts say it is unlikely that China will experience another large wave of infections across the country.

China has repeatedly declared victory over COVID, highlighting the government’s response and handling of the pandemic.

Some people on social media expressed concern about the relaxation of mask wearing regulations, saying the virus remained a threat.

“Let’s hope there won’t be a second wave of infections,” said one user on China’s Twitter-like Weibo (NASDAQ:) social networking site.

Masks are optional on public transport and in supermarkets, movie theaters and other indoor places where large crowds gather, Xinhua news agency reported.

The report says it is still mandatory to wear a mask when a person tests positive for COVID or is showing symptoms, during local outbreaks, and in health facilities and hospitals. nursing.

Chinese cities that have been scrapping mask regulations in a matter of weeks, including Hong Kong, ended mask requirements on March 1.

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