China continues lifting Covid restrictions despite near-record case numbers

Covid-19 testing booths were removed in Beijing on Friday, while Shenzhen followed other cities in announcing it would no longer require commuters to present their test results to travel, as an easing of Covid restrictions in China gathered pace. As daily cases hovered near all-time highs, some cities took steps to loosen coronavirus testing requirements … Read more

Tuesday briefing: What’s behind angry protests against China’s ‘deadly’ Covid restrictions

Good morning. After days of escalating protests across China unprecedented since Xi Jinping came to power a decade ago, the state hit back on Monday night. “There was a massive police presence [at the expected protest sites] in Shanghai and Beijing questioning passers-by,” the Guardian’s Helen Davidson, covering the story from Taipei, told me this … Read more

China’s Covid fatalities test commitment to relaxing restrictions

China’s first Covid-19 fatalities in six months and a sharp rise in reported cases are testing the government’s recent commitment to ease restrictions of its stringent Covid curbs. Beijing reported three deaths from Covid-19 from Sunday to Monday. The victims were all over 80 and also suffered from multiple medical conditions, reported Beijing Evening News. … Read more

Rare unrest in Chinese city of Guangzhou as people protest over Covid restrictions – video

Protesters poured on to the streets of the southern Chinese city in a rare demonstration against strict Covid-19 restrictions.  Video circulating on social media shows crowds of people marching through the Haizhu district, breaking Covid barriers in noisy scenes. Cases have also been rising in other large Chinese cities, including Beijing, Chongqing and Zhengzhou. China … Read more

Apple warns iPhone shipments will be delayed due to Covid restrictions at Foxconn plant

Apple has said it expects lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max shipments than previously anticipated as Covid-19 restrictions temporarily disrupt production at an assembly facility in Zhengzhou, China. “The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity,” the iPhone maker said in a statement. “Customers will experience longer wait times to receive their … Read more

Rumours of zero-Covid easing spread in China amid anger at restrictions

Waves of outrage and frustration over China’s lockdown measures this week have demonstrated widening cracks in the general compliance with the government’s zero-Covid policy. Rising anger has been driven by the tragic death of a toddler, and highly public problematic lockdowns in the Henan capital, Zhengzhou. Officials were left scrambling to control the narrative, amid … Read more

Shanghai Covid restrictions fuel fears of another lockdown

A rollout of Covid restrictions across Shanghai has fuelled fears the city is heading towards another lockdown, as Chinese authorities seek to contain outbreaks while maintaining a sense of stability ahead of a major political meeting on Sunday. This week Shanghai residents, who endured an arduous two-month lockdown earlier this year, have reported several schools … Read more

Taiwan opens borders to tourists as restrictions eased after 2.5 years

Taiwan lifted all its Covid-19 entry restrictions on Thursday, allowing tourists unfettered access the self-ruled island after more than 2.5 years of border controls. Hong Kong and Taiwan, together with mainland China, required most visitors to complete a mandatory quarantine period throughout the pandemic, even as most countries reopened their borders to tourists. Visitors are … Read more

Japan opens borders to tourists as last pandemic travel restrictions eased

Japan has fully opened its doors to visitors after more than two years of pandemic isolation. On Tuesday, the country reinstated visa-free travel to dozens of countries, ending some of world’s strictest Covid-19 border controls. Japan has also lifted the 50,000-person entry cap and ended the requirement for tourists to travel as part of tour … Read more

Queensland officer gave daughter ‘police escort’ to evade Covid restrictions at NSW border

A Queensland police officer has admitted to escorting his daughter across the state’s border illegally when travel was restricted during the Covid-19 outbreak. Robert William Eickenloff, who has since left the police service, was on duty as a senior constable with the road policing command when he rode his motorcycle into New South Wales to … Read more