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China to Drop Travel Tracing as It Relaxes ‘Zero-COVID’

At midnight on Monday, the smart phone app will cease to function, meaning residents’ travels will not be traced and recorded.

China will drop a travel tracing requirement as part of an uncertain exit from its strict “zero-COVID” policies that have elicited widespread dissatisfaction.

At midnight on Monday, the smart phone app will cease to function, meaning residents’ travels will not be traced and recorded, potentially reducing the likelihood they will be forced into quarantine for visiting pandemic hot spots. China’s ruling Communist Party allows no independent parties to conduct verification and such apps have been used in past to suppress travel and free speech. It’s part of a package of apps that includes the health code, which has yet to be disabled.

The move follows the government’s snap announcement last week that it was ending many of the most draconian measures. That follows three years of lockdowns, travel restrictions and quarantines on those moving between provinces and cities, mandated testing, and requirements that a clean bill of health be shown to access public areas.

Last month in Beijing and several other cities, protests over the restrictions grew into calls for leader Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party step down, in a level of public political expression not seen in decades.

China will drop a travel tracing requirement as part of an uncertain exit from its strict “zero-COVID” policies that have elicited widespread dissatisfaction.

At midnight on Monday, the smart phone app will cease to function, meaning residents’ travels will not be traced and recorded, potentially reducing the likelihood they will be forced into quarantine for visiting pandemic hot spots. China’s ruling Communist Party allows no independent parties to conduct verification and such apps have been used in past to suppress travel and free speech. It’s part of a package of apps that includes the health code, which has yet to be disabled.

The move follows the government’s snap announcement last week that it was ending many of the most draconian measures. That follows three years of lockdowns, travel restrictions and quarantines on those moving between provinces and cities, mandated testing, and requirements that a clean bill of health be shown to access public areas.

Last month in Beijing and several other cities, protests over the restrictions grew into calls for leader Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party step down, in a level of public political expression not seen in decades.

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