Covid has re-emerged in Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley. The strict zero-Covid policy from the local government has long raised public grievances. Most recently, the city authorities have imposed a new nucleic acid test requirement, a group code. 

On Wednesday, a Chinese netizen warned that Shenzhen had just begun rolling out a nucleic acid testing system. As such, when someone enters and leaves public spaces like office buildings, schools, he would not scan the site code like before. Instead, he is required to scan the so-called group code. If only one group member does not take the Covid test, then the other members will receive a yellow code. This is much more strict than the individual negative Covid test requirement before. 

Mainland media reported that Shenzhen started conducting this group code in primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, and many factories and enterprise parks in a district last month. Now it is introducing this new requirement on a broader scale. 

Citizens said that the new measure is strict, troublesome, and is a way of controlling citizens disguised as epidemic prevention. 

Mr. Yu, a citizen of Shenzhen told Chinese language media Xin Tang Ren   that the control is tough. As long as you enter the epidemic prevention area, the green code will turn yellow. And since then, you are not allowed to come out. You can not run away. If you run away now, police will arrest you and charge you with committing an epidemic prevention crime. With this new measure, business production has been affected. Mr. Gao family’s breeding industry has lost tens of thousands of yuan. But no one cares about that. No one compensates for that. 

Mr. Yu said that the impact is huge. Many people find it unnecessary and disgusting with more strict control. When Mr. Yu goes out in his community, he needs a 24-hour nucleic acid negative result proof. He has to check and recheck every day and go to many places. He wants to be checked, and if he doesn’t take the test, he can’t even enter the community, and he can’t go back home.

Many Shenzhen residents said that authorities strictly control people in the name of epidemic prevention. 

One netizen said that Shenzhen’s epidemic prevention and control measures have reached a corrupt level! Schools, companies, and communities have all set up group codes. And if one does not do it, nine groups will be involved! This is truly unprecedented!

Some netizens compare this new measure to an invisible electronic shackle on the residents.

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