Shanghai will gradually reopen physical stores from Monday after reporting no new non-quarantine Covid-19 cases.
Malls, department stores, convenience stores and supermarkets will gradually resume operations, Vice Mayor Chen Tong said in a briefing on Sunday.
Drugstores and barber shops will also be allowed to reopen, while restaurants will be able to offer take-away food beyond what has been online to date, he said.
The city reported 1,203 local asymptomatic Covid infections and 166 local confirmed cases for Saturday, with no cases found outside quarantine areas, according to a statement from the local health agency.
Officials have said three consecutive days of no community transmission are required before they can begin to ease restrictions.
The financial hub has been locked down for about six weeks as China sticks to its Covid-Zero strategy, which now aims to eliminate the spread of the virus in communities.
However, the prospect of lockdowns in major cities is still high as Beijing faces a growing list of Covid restrictions.
Once a clear success story, China’s Covid strategy has become a liability.
The zero-tolerance approach that kept the virus at bay for much of the pandemic is struggling to contain the virus in the face of increasingly contagious variants without increasingly disruptive control measures.
The economy was hit hard in April as authorities implemented sweeping lockdown measures to contain Covid, with manufacturing and services activity and export growth slowing sharply.
The central bank will set its interest rate on the medium-term lending facility on Monday, with some economists expecting a slight cut.
This will precede retail sales, factory production, investment and employment data for April, which is also expected to illustrate the economic damage from the lockdowns.
Signs of a reopening will come as a relief to Shanghai residents.
So far, 183 large supermarkets and 673 convenience stores are open in the city for personal services, local trade official Gu Jun said at Sunday’s briefing.
About 118,000 delivery workers are on a “white list” that allows them to work, he said.
Beijing recorded 41 local Covid cases for Saturday, up from 56 the previous day. The city has ordered all public transport and car call services to be suspended in Fangshan district, where 12 infections were detected on Saturday and residents have been asked to work from home.
Officials have denied Beijing is going into lockdown amid growing concerns that the Chinese capital’s response to an ongoing outbreak will intensify.
There were a total of 1,718 new local Covid cases in China for Saturday, up from 1,979 on Friday, according to the National Health Commission.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/shanghai-to-reopen-shops-after-reporting-no-community-cases-41651632.html Shanghai is reopening stores after no cases were reported in the community