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China allows home quarantine in big shift from zero-COVID

Dropping mass testing among changes in wake of unrest over strict virus curbs

A medical worker administers a coronavirus vaccine to an elderly person in China's Zhejiang province. Boosting the jab rate among seniors is key to exiting the country's zero-COVID policy.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG -- China on Wednesday announced a rollback of its zero-COVID policy in a marked shift away from virus curbs that triggered nationwide unrest, putting it on course to living with the respiratory illness.

People who are asymptomatic, or who have mild infections, will now be allowed to quarantine at home, rather than being forced into government facilities, while mass PCR testing, a key feature of government efforts to quash even small outbreaks, will be largely abandoned.

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