Beijing to further ease Covid-19 restrictions; schools, entertainment facilities to open

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BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) — Beijing will continue to roll back its Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, June 6, as the Chinese capital considers a return to normal after declaring late last month that the latest virus outbreak was under control.

The city will resume public transportation in most districts except Fengtai and parts of Changping, allowing workers to return to their offices and restaurants to restart catering services, local authorities said in a statement on Sunday. communicated.

The loosening comes after officials said on Friday the city had reached zero new community cases in 13 of 16 districts for seven straight days, a key threshold for unwinding the curbs.

China’s Covid Zero strategy has brought recent outbreaks under control in megacities like Shanghai and Beijing – although in Shanghai’s case it involved a punitive two-month lockdown – and authorities have warned the risk of a resurgence remains.

Beijing said scenic areas, parks and entertainment facilities like cinemas will open in most areas from Monday, with maximum capacity capped at 75%.

Residents are allowed to roam freely as long as they have a negative Covid-19 test result within the previous 72 hours. The previous requirement was 48 hours.

Schools will gradually reopen, with middle and elementary schools resuming in-person classes from June 13 and kindergartens from June 20, the statement said.

China reported a total of 88 local infections and asymptomatic cases on Saturday, including 19 in Beijing and 22 in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission.

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