Coronavirus | China to lift travel curbs on 50 million people in Hubei

Healthy residents would be allowed to leave the province

March 25, 2020 12:12 am | Updated 12:12 am IST - Beijing

Travel eased:  Staff members line up as they prepare to spray disinfectant at the Wuhan railway station on Tuesday.

Travel eased: Staff members line up as they prepare to spray disinfectant at the Wuhan railway station on Tuesday.

China announced on Tuesday that a lockdown would be lifted on more than 50 million people in central Hubei province, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year.

But fears rose over a second wave of infections in the country fuelled by people arriving from overseas.

After two months living with draconian curbs on daily life, residents will be allowed to leave Hubei from midnight on Tuesday if healthy, said provincial authorities.

Restrictions till April 7

Wuhan city — the initial epicentre of the outbreak — will end restrictions from April 8.

Hubei ordered the shutdown in January but has been gradually easing rules and permitting people to move about within the province and return to work.

People who wish to travel in or out of Hubei or Wuhan will be able to as long as they have a “green” health code issued by authorities, but schools will remain closed.

Three airports in the province will resume flights from Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

“I’m super happy,” Hubei native Zoe Wang told AFP. “I’m going to be able to go back and see my parents.”

“I really want freedom as soon as possible,” one Wuhan resident named Willa said.

New cases have slowed over the last month.

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