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Beijing reopens restaurants, eases other Covid restrictions after more than a month

Beijing reopens restaurants, eases other Covid restrictions after more than a month
Museums, cinema halls and gyms will be allowed to opearte at 75 per cent of capacity

Most restaurants in Beijing opened up on Monday as the Chinese capital crawled back to normalcy after over a month of strict lockdowns under its “zero-Covid” approach.

Visuals from the city showed many gleeful customers queuing up outside Huda restaurant, a famous night place for crayfish and snacks, as the city resumed dine-in services from Monday.

Authorities in the city of 22 million conducted mass testing and locked down building after an outbreak infected more than 1,800 people over six weeks. On Sunday, the number of new cases dropped to six.

Museums, cinema halls and gyms will now be allowed to opearte at 75 per cent of the capacity. Schools will fully reopen from 13 June and nurseries from 20 June. Deliveries can also be dropped at a customer’s doorstep as lockdown norms have been further eased.

Officials have ramped up the Covid testing and isolation norms as hundreds of thousands are expected to step out in the city to socialise.

The latest guidelines apply in all parts of Beijing except one district where cases are still being recorded.

This comes a week after Shanghai gradually eased lockdown restrictions, allowing residents to leave their homes for the first time in two months. However, even as most of the city opened up, restaurants were not allowed to operate fully.

The ferry services in Shanghai have also resumed normal operations.

People in both Beijing and Shanghai have to show negative Covid test results from the past 72 hours while entering any public place like a subway, office premises or shopping centre. As a result, many lined up outside testing booths across the cities.

Other parts of the country which are still reporting outbreaks include China’s Inner Mongolia region where 39 new infections were recorded on Sunday. Another city in northeast Dandong, which shares its border with North Korea, also saw 130 cases in the past 24 hours.

Additional reporting by agencies