After a two-month lockdown, the Chinese city of Shanghai, the country’s commercial centre and a worldwide trading hub, has loosened Covid restrictions.
Restrictions were eased at midnight local time (16:00 GMT Tuesday) to enable most people to roam freely about the metropolis of 25 million people.
However, at least 650,000 people would be stranded in their homes.
People who contract Covid risk quarantine or hospitalization under China’s general “zero Covid” policy.
Their close friends and family members may be detained in quarantine, and the region in which they dwell may be sealed off once again.
Shanghai government spokesman Yin Xin told reporters, “This is a day that we have dreamt about for a long time.”
“Everyone has made significant sacrifices. This day has been hard-won, and we must treasure and safeguard it, as well as welcome back the Shanghai we know and miss.”
After the lockdown was lifted, e-commerce professional Chen Ying planned to work from home, but she told the AFP news agency she would take her two-year-old son for a long-awaited stroll outdoors.
“We should have been free, to begin with,” she said, “so don’t expect me to be thankful now that they’ve handed it back to us.”
Many inhabitants have lost their jobs, struggled to get adequate food, and dealt with the emotional strain of extended isolation as a result of the lockdown.
The limitations have had a particularly negative effect on manufacturers like as Volkswagen and Tesla since employees have been kept away from facilities or forced to work in “closed-loop” circumstances, where they reside at the companies.
Basic public transportation service will return on Wednesday, and stores will reopen with bigger stores working at 75 percent capacity, while theatres, museums, and gyms will stay closed.