China relaxes social distancing rules as coronavirus cases slow

23 March 2020, 11:18

China have begun relaxing social distancing rules
China have begun relaxing social distancing rules. Picture: Getty
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Wuhan has reported no new cases of coronavirus in three days, and restrictions on movement are gradually being lifted.

The Chinese authorities have been lifting social distancing measures, as cases of coronavirus in the country appear to be slowing down.

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In Wuhan - where the virus originated late last year - there have been no new reported cases in three days, and lockdown barriers have been taken down and fireworks let off in some parts of the city.

Restrictions on supermarkets are being relaxed in Wuhan
Restrictions on supermarkets are being relaxed in Wuhan. Picture: Getty

China has reported a total of 41 new cases in the last 24 hours, but these are said to have all been people coming from overseas.

The country now has a total of 81,008 confirmed cases and 3,255 deaths.

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Officials in Wuhan are allowing supermarkets and retail businesses to open between 8am and 6pm in they are in an area with no confirmed or suspected cases, and residents in 'epidemic-free' blocks are now able to walk around their buildings areas.

Wuhan must go 14 days without a new case in order for their Draconian travel restrictions to be lifted.

Social distancing measures are being relaxed across China
Social distancing measures are being relaxed across China. Picture: Getty

The Eastern city of Hangzou has even said it would allow cinemas, libraries and museums to open, and it also announced plans to stop measuring people's temperatures at hotels and other public spaces.

For many who have experienced the unprecedented lockdown in the country, life is slowly starting to return to normal.

A man named Yang told Al Jazeera: "The last two months felt surreal and, trust me, I'm almost 70 years old, and I've seen a lot of things.

"But we're all still alive, and I'm just so happy that the worst has passed.

"This is the first time I came back fishing at this lake since Lunar New Year - I'm very happy."


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