The Wuhan residents were seen making a dash to leave the city by road, air and train as the city’s 76-day lockdown is finally lifted.
Wuhan’s lockdown became a model for countries trying to stop the coronavirus pandemic after the city was shutdown.
The city’s 11 million residents are now free to go out without restrictions.
Pictures showed hundreds of cars arriving at motorway toll gates and travellers gathering outside transport hubs in the city, where the coronavirus outbreak first began in December.
Wuhan has now recorded zero new deaths for the first time since the pandemic began, prompting authorities to go ahead with plans to lift a citywide quarantine imposed in January.
Residents were allowed to leave the city as of midnight local time, and the airport is now preparing to reopen to domestic flights.
According the state-owned China News Service, domestic passenger services at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport will resume on April 8.
Before entering the terminal, passengers will be required to scan a “Wuhan Fighting Epidemic” QR code and show their “green code”, a QR code issued in Hubei indicating the traveller is healthy.
Passengers will also get their temperatures taken and those above 37.3C will be “treated according to the relevant epidemic prevention rules”, said the China News Service.
Anyone leaving by road will be allowed to do so without special authorisation as long as they have a mandatory application installed on their smartphones.
The app is powered by a mix of data-tracking and government surveillance, and shows whether the user is healthy and whether they have recently been in contact with anyone confirmed to have the virus.
Trains are also scheduled to run from Wuhan to destinations across China, with the first due to leave for capital Beijing at 6.25am local time.