Beijing, Shenzhen loosen more COVID curbs

STORY: This video showing workers in Beijing removing a testing booth went viral on Chinese social media on Friday.

Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the footage.

Although daily cases in the country are near all-time highs, some cities are taking steps to loosen COVID testing requirements and quarantine rules.

China looks to make its zero-COVID policy more targeted amid a sharp economic slow down

and public frustration that has boiled over into unrest.

Many testing booths in Beijing have been shut, as the capital stops demanding negative test results as a condition to enter places such as supermarkets.

The city is also planning to do so for subways from Monday.

However, many other venues, including offices, still require testing.

At some of the remaining booths on Saturday (December 3), residents, like Zhu, grumbled about hour-long queues for the tests.

"The line went from one end of the street to the other. We walked for seven or eight minutes to get to the end of the line."

The southern city of Shenzhen announced it would no longer require people to show a negative COVID test result to use public transport or enter parks, following similar moves by Chengdu and Tianjin.

Despite China fine-tuning its COVID policy this week, protests in some cities continued.

In Wuhan, the Chinese city believed to be the epicenter of the health crisis, protesters there pushed open a barrier to gain access to a facility sealed off by authorities in a video released on Friday.

Police in cities such as Shanghai have been checking commuters' phones for apps or virtual private network software that protesters used to communicate.

That's according to protesters and social media posts.

China is set to further announce a nationwide easing of testing requirements as well as allowing positive cases and close contacts to isolate at home under certain conditions, people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week.