May 31, 2022 - World

Shanghai set to ease COVID restrictions after 2-month lockdown

A subway that resumed operation in Shanghai on May 29. Photo: Cfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Shanghai officials on Wednesday are set to significantly ease restrictions implemented during a two-month-long COVID-19 lockdown, the Associated Press reported.

Why it matters: Stemming from China's zero-COVID strategy, the strict lockdown brought economic repercussions, led to family separations and saw residents of China's largest city scrambling for food.

The big picture: “The epidemic has been effectively controlled,” Vice Mayor Zong Ming said at a press conference Tuesday while explaining the easing of restrictions, per AP.

  • Subway and bus service will be fully restored along with basic train connections to other parts of China, AP reported.
  • Although movie theaters and gyms will remain closed, schools will reopen on a voluntary basis. Supermarkets, convenience stores and shopping malls will gradually reopen, though at no more than 75% capacity.
  • Some of the public fencing recently erected around the city is also being taken down, per AP.

But, but, but: Roughly 650,000 residents will still be unable to leave their homes on Wednesday due to recent COVID-19 cases in their areas, the New York Times reported.

  • In addition, many of the city's strict COVID-19 testing requirements remain in place, per the Times.

Catch up quick: While the lockdown began in March, Shanghai officials eased some restrictions in mid-April amid the city's growing food crisis, allowing some residents to leave their homes.

Go deeper