BEIJING ( Associated Press) — Shanghai authorities said major steps will be taken Wednesday to reopen China’s largest city after a two-month COVID-19 lockdown that has stifled the national economy and locked up millions of people. people in their houses.
Bus and subway service will resume, as well as basic rail links with the rest of China, the city’s deputy mayor Zong Ming said at his daily news briefing on the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday.
Schools will partially open, although face-to-face attendance will be voluntary, and shopping malls, supermarkets, food stores and pharmacies will gradually resume activity with a capacity of no more than 75% of their capacity. Movie theaters and gyms will remain closed.
Authorities, who had set a June 1 deadline for reopening in early May, appeared ready to accelerate the gradual easing of recent days. Some malls and markets are already open, and some residents have received passes that allow them to go outside for a few hours. In at least some chats, cynicism about the slow pace and imminence of the reopening gave way Tuesday to enthusiasm about the possibility of being able to move freely around the city again for the first time since the end of March.
Shanghai recorded 29 new positives on Monday, continuing its steady decline from more than 20,000 daily in April. Li Qiang, the top official of Shanghai’s ruling Communist Party, told a meeting on Monday that the city has made significant progress against the outbreak thanks to continuous fighting.
Success came at a price. Authorities imposed a suffocating lockdown across the city in compliance with the state’s “zero COVID” policy, which seeks to quell any outbreak with mass testing and isolation in centralized facilities for anyone infected.
Schools will reopen for the last two years of high school and the third year of elementary school, but students can choose to attend in person. Other courses and kindergartens will remain closed.
Beijing, the country’s capital, further eased restrictions on Tuesday in some districts. The city imposed strict lockdowns, but not citywide, due to a much smaller outbreak, which appears to have dissipated. Beijing recorded just 18 new cases on Monday.