Residents of Wuhan are being allowed to leave the Chinese city for the first time in more than two months as strict social distancing measures are lifted.
The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic began in Wuhan, in Hubei province, resulting in a lockdown that began on 23 January.
However, the city’s 11 million residents are now finally allowed to quit the area as long as they have a “green” code on a widely used smartphone health app that indicates whether the infection status of the user, says the BBC.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
China reported no new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, the first day without confirmed fatalities since the authorities began publishing the figures. Beijing has credited strict lockdown measures for the turnaround.
In Wuhan, travel was banned and most businesses closed. However, the measures have been eased gradually over the past month, with shopping malls re-opening and some residents of “epidemic-free” areas of the city allowed out of their homes for two hours a day.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
From Wednesday, Wuhaners will be able to use public transport again too, provided they can produce a QR code on their smartphone health app confirming they are well.
Workers making medical supplies and daily essentials will return to work, and “industries that impact national or global supply chains will also be able to re-open”, says the BBC.
Around 200 flights are scheduled to leave Wuhan on Wednesday, carrying a total of around 10,000 passengers.
Chinese state media has also shown images of nearly 100 high-speed trains ready to depart Wuhan, while motorway roadblocks have been removed.
However, schools will remain closed, and some compounds are still locked down because they do not have “epidemic-free” status.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.