Beijing and Shanghai begin to reopen as COVID cases drop

After about two months of lockdown, Shanghai announced plans over the weekend to ease restrictions on business activity. Subway commuters pictured here on May 28, 2022, ride one of four lines in a city that has resumed operations.

Vcg | China Optical Group | Getty Images

BEIJING – Major Chinese cities, Beijing and Shanghai, began easing their Covid controls over the weekend as the number of local cases fell.

Nationwide, the number of new cases showing symptoms on the mainland fell to 20 on Sunday, down from 54 the day before. The capital, Beijing, recorded eight new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, while Shanghai recorded six.

The easing of restrictions comes about two months after Shanghai, China’s largest city, ordered people to stay in their apartments for comprehensive virus testing. The city of Beijing began tightening Covid controls about a month ago, but only closed some neighborhoods.

Shanghai authorities said on Sunday that businesses could begin to reopen without having to apply for approval starting Wednesday. Shopping area called Xintiandi – including local Shake Shack – He was among them Set to resume some offline operations Wednesday, according to official media.

The city also announced a raft of measures to support businesses, particularly those with minimal layoffs. To stimulate consumption, the city said it will give 10,000 yuan ($1,493) to anyone who switches to a battery-powered car this year.

As of Sunday, Shanghai claimed that only 220,000 people remained under the most restrictive stay-at-home order, and more than 22 million were allowed out into the community.

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In Beijing, the major shopping malls, including a The luxury mall that was temporarily closed a month ago due to Covid, It announced that it will reopen its doors from Sunday. Hotels in the capital’s rural suburbs could also reopen. A theme park called Happy Valley Beijing said it plans to reopen on Tuesday.

Riding and most public transportation have resumed in the main business district, while more people have been allowed to return to work. Some libraries, museums and gyms could reopen at half capacity, if no Covid cases were found in the past seven days at the community level.

but, Restaurants in Beijing can still only operate on a takeaway or delivery basis, With no customers to eat inside. Middle and elementary schools remain closed.

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After the recent Covid outbreak, both Shanghai and Beijing required a negative virus test valid for entry to public places. In Beijing, test results are only valid for 48 hours, while Shanghai said starting Wednesday, test results will be valid for 72 hours.

It remains unclear how quickly most companies will be able to resume normal production as implementation of Covid measures can vary at the district level. Any new confirmed cases of Covid or contact with one could lead to a new aggravation.

Customers in Beijing’ question volume of growth rebound Even after the Covid controls were relaxed, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a report on Sunday.

“Local customers are concerned about the scar effects from anti-epidemic measures and slowing growth, which include increased uncertainty about economic aspects and political view, Analysts said more bankruptcies and higher unemployment rates.”

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