Shanghai plans to lift covid-19 restrictions after 2-month lockdown
After having put Shanghai under lockdown for two months, Covid-19 cases decline, and the authorities are looking to gradually lift restrictions and return to normal life.
Two months after a lockdown and zero growth in new cases registered in 15 out of 16 city areas, Shanghai authorities announced that they have planned to gradually lift the anti-pandemic restrictions. The plan to lift restriction is divided into three stages and serves to help cities return to normal life by mid-to-late June.
Over the past 24 hours, the city recorded 69 symptomatic and 869 asymptomatic cases. This means that the general infectious rate is falling below 1,000 cases per day for the first time since restrictions were imposed. Authorities in Shanghai imposed a lockdown on March 28 amid a surge in Covid-19 infections. Under the initial plan, the 25-million-strong city went into a lockdown meant to facilitate mass testing that was expected to be lifted on April 5. However, the persistence of high infection rates resulted in the extension of the lockdown until further notice.
In a press conference, Zong Ming, vice mayor of Shanghai, outlined the three stages of the plan to lift restrictions. The first stage is to take place effective immediately and extend until May 21st. During this stage, the goals are to reduce the growth rate of infections, prevent a return to the previous situation, reduce the number of areas and people under lockdown, reopen areas in an orderly manner, maintain movement restrictions and effective control, and preserve a low level of social activity throughout the city.
The second phase will stretch from May 22 to May 31st. It will focus on more active efforts to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases and areas under lockdown. The final stage is expected to last from early until mid-to-late June. The last stage seeks to restore normal life and production in the city has successfully prevented any new covid-19 outbreak and ensured risk control.
On May 22, ground and railway transport operations will be slowly resumed within the city. On Monday, Shanghai will also begin increasing the number of trains arriving in and departing from the city. Regarding air transportation with other Chinese cities, Zong stated that it will be eventually restored without mentioning any specific dates.
Despite, the ongoing plan to lift Covid-19 restrictions, residents of Shanghai will continue to be obligated to have a 48-hour negative PCR test in order to visit public places including the use of public transport.