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Shanghai's 2-month COVID-19 lockdown might be approaching its end

A few of the residents of China’s largest city have been given passes that allow them to go out for a few hours at a time

May 31, 2022 5:33pm

Updated: June 1, 2022 7:26pm

Chinese authorities said on Wednesday they are taking major steps towards reopening Shanghai after a two-month-long strict COVID-19 lockdown.

"This is a day that we dreamed of for a very long time," Shanghai government spokeswoman Yin Xin said.

"Everyone has sacrificed a lot. This day has been hard-won and we need to cherish and protect it, and welcome back the Shanghai we are familiar with and missed."

Shanghai’s Vice Mayor Zong Ming announced that the city’s bus and subway services, as well as rail connections with the rest of China, will completely resume on Wednesday. 

“The epidemic has been effectively controlled,” Zong said.

The Vice Mayor added that schools will reopen on a voluntary basis. In addition, shipping malls, supermarkets, convenience stores, and drug stores will reopen at 75% capacity. However, gyms and cinemas will not reopen at this stage. 

A few of the residents of China’s largest city have been given passes that allow them to go out for a few hours at a time. 

“I’m very happy, extremely happy, all the way, too happy,” said Lu Kexing, a high school senior. “I could die.”

However, around half a million residents of the city’s 25 million will not be allowed to leave on Wednesday. Some 190,000 individuals still live in areas that will remain under lockdown, while 450,000 are in areas under control due to recently reported coronavirus cases. 

With the easing of the lockdown, new regulations were also set in place. Residents will now be required to show a green health code on their phones to leave their buildings or compounds. Residents using public transport and accessing indoor venues will be required to show negative PCR tests. Anyone who leaves Shanghai and returns will have to quarantine for seven to 14 days. 

Shanghai saw 29 new positive Covid-19 cases on Monday, a small number compared to the 20,000 cases a day that the city saw in April.

China’s “zero-Covid” policy has been one of the strictest lockdowns seen throughout the pandemic. The city’s residents were not allowed to leave their homes and anyone who tested positive was placed in quarantine facilities. Originally meant to last only nine days, it extended to 65. As a result, many residents started running out of supplies such as food and water.