You can now require that all changes to a protected branch are made using a pull request, but without requiring reviews. This can be useful when you want to use pull requests for tracking purposes or to simplify your continuous integration (CI) configuration, but don't want to gate merging on review.
Previously, you could create a branch protection rule that required pull requests with approving reviews before commits could be merged into a branch. When pull requests were required, approving reviews were also required. This didn’t meet the needs of users who wanted to require pull requests for tracking purposes or CI validation, but who didn’t want their ability to merge to be gated by approving reviews.
Now, requiring pull requests and requiring approving reviews are separate options of protecting a branch. For example, you can now require pull requests without requiring reviews, or with requiring approving reviews. This flexibility lets you choose what is best for you and your branches.
For more information, visit Managing a branch protection rule.