Shijiazhuang city to conduct five-day population-wide Covid test after relaxation last week

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The city of Shijiazhuang, capital of north China’s Hebei province, will conduct 5-day population-wide COVID testing in its Qiaoxi district, Changan district, Yuhua distruct, Xinhua district, High-tech district and Circular Chemical Industrial Park, starting November 21, the local government said late Sunday.

All residents are urged to stay at home, with one person in each household permitted to go out to purchase daily necessities per day; restaurants, shopping malls, entertainment venues and training institutions will be temporarily closed; primary and high schools and kindergartens will start offering online courses; colleges and universities will be put under closed management, it said.

Manufacturing enterprises and ongoing contraction projects will start closed-loop management, it said.

Shijiazhuang has been tiptoeing away from the most strict pandemic measures, in what some see as a test case for a gradual retreat from the zero-Covid policy. The city canceled city-wide Covid testing last week and public transport systems and some malls, restaurants and office buildings have stopped checking for negative test results for entry.