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Zhejiang loosens policy on nucleic acid testing

By MA ZHENHUAN in Hangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-09 08:56
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Residents line up to take nucleic acid tests for the novel coronavirus in Binjiang district in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Jan 27, 2022. [Photo by DONG XUMING/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Zhejiang's nucleic acid testing policy has been loosened not only for residents in low-risk areas within the province, but also for those coming into the province, the Zhejiang epidemic prevention and control work leading group announced on Tuesday.

The notice clarified that those in the province from areas that have no medium or high-risk areas for COVID-19 and no local reported cases within seven days can travel freely in the province without a negative nucleic acid test result for COVID-19.Previously, a negative nucleic acid test was required from within 48 hours.

Medical services for critically ill patients and those who need regular treatment should be provided immediately by hospitals with no mandatory requirement of a negative nucleic acid test result before being hospitalized.

People entering Zhejiang from cities outside the province that have medium and high-risk areas are recommended to take nucleic acid tests as well as antigen tests as soon as they arrive so that they can travel freely.

The notice also stipulated that negative nucleic acid test results for drivers and passengers of freight vehicles from low-risk areas are no longer mandatory.

These measures will help revitalize intra-provincial and inter-provincial travel during the summer vacation, according to an employee from the strategic research center of Ctrip, an online travel agency. In the long run, the scientific and precise measures of epidemic prevention and control provide convenience for travel and logistics so that the recovery of domestic tourism can be expected.

The notice also clarifies the requirements for students across the country returning to their hometowns for the summer vacation.

If new cases are reported in the city where students' universities are located, but the university has no cases and has been in a closed loop for more than seven days, those students can travel directly from university to home with a negative nucleic acid test result from within 48 hours as well as a certificate from their university. They should then monitor their health condition at home for seven days.

In addition, students who need to receive centralized isolation are exempt from catering and accommodation costs.

Fang Xiaoying contributed to this story.

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