I lived through China’s COVID lockdowns for the best part of three years – it’s a miserable existence | World News

I was part of a Sky News team on the ground in Wuhan when the world’s first COVID-19 lockdown was announced, in January 2020.

It was so new that we were debating how to describe it – “shutdown” and “quarantine” were the other options. We certainly had no idea that we’d be living under some form of it for the best part of the next three years.

In the first stages of the pandemic, it worked. Much of China escaped the restrictive and repeated lockdowns the UK experienced.

But the arrival of the delta and then omicron variants turned an emergency measure into a numbing daily grind.

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Tom Cheshire piece on his enforced quarantine in a  hotel single room in Dalian, northeast China
Tom Cheshire was in enforced quarantine for two weeks in a single hotel room in Dalian, northeast China, at the start of 2021

PCR testing became ubiquitous: every day I would queue up to have my throat swabbed.

Entry to any public space required showing a green health code on your…

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