Beijing to reopen schools and workplaces as COVID-19 curbs ease

Transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, emerging from human cells. Credit: NIAID

Beijing will gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions this week, city officials said Sunday.

After some easing in recent days, the Chinese capital—which reported 19 new infections Sunday—announced residents would start returning to work from Monday and schools would reopen from June 13.

China is wedded to a zero-COVID strategy of hard lockdowns, mass testing and long quarantine periods to wipe out clusters as they emerge.

That strategy has meant restrictions on movement in major cities including Shanghai and Beijing, a metropolis of 22 million people where a resurgence of COVID-19 in April led to just under 2,000 infections.

From Monday, restaurants will be able to welcome customers again—if they have tested negative in the previous three days—and will operate normally, the city's government said in a statement.

Two districts in the capital will maintain restrictions.

In Shanghai, most of the city's 25 million inhabitants have been able to move freely since Wednesday.

But hundreds of thousands still face restrictions after being designated close contacts of infected people.

© 2022 AFP

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