Beijing may ease quarantine rules as early as Thursday

A Chinese paramilitary police officer wearing a face mask stands guard in front of a portrait of former leader Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

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The city of Beijing plans to ease quarantine rules for some domestic travellers from low-risk areas in China as soon as Thursday, according to two sources familiar with the situation, as the Chinese capital prepares for a major political gathering.

People arriving from elsewhere in China will no longer be required to be quarantined for two weeks unless they come from high-risk areas such as Heilongjiang in the north and some parts of Guangdong in the southeast, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the information has not been disclosed publicly.

Currently, even Chinese citizens who reside in Beijing are not allowed to return home without first quarantining except under special circumstances, and those who refuse to do so or follow official rules to curb the contagion can be punished.

The easing in quarantine rules will not apply for travellers from overseas, the sources said.

Beijing started in March to quarantine all travellers from overseas, including Chinese citizens, at designated locations for 14 days.

Meanwhile, China’s parliament will start its annual meeting on 22 May, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday, more than two months later than originally planned due to the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. China’s top political consultative body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, has also proposed to start its annual session on 21 May.

Read more via Reuters

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