Shanghai to start gradual reopening

CHINA DAILY| Updated: May 16, 2022

City to make transition from emergency response to normalized virus control

Shopping malls, department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and catering services in Shanghai will resume offline operations in a gradual and orderly manner as the city will promote a staged resumption of commercial business and markets starting on Monday, the city's vice-mayor said on Sunday.

The resumption will stick to the principles of "reopening in order, limited shopper flow, effective control, and classified management" while implementing epidemic prevention and control measures strictly, Vice-mayor Chen Tong said at a news briefing.

All retail venues need to design entry and exit channels, limit the flow of customers and provide services for placing orders online, but also provide delivery offline along with in-store consumption.

Catering and hairdressing services will resume gradually. Catering operators can take orders both online and offline but only provide takeaway service. Hairdressing service operators must also limit the number of customers.

"We believe that as the epidemic situation further improves, the resumption of business and markets will take bigger steps and more commercial outlets will be reopened," said Chen. The number of commercial outlets operating in the city has climbed from the low point of 1,400 during the city's entire lockdown to 10,625 currently, with 5 million deliveries being completed daily, he said.

Gu Jun, director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, said nearly 1,200, or three-fourths, of the total outlets of the city's 12 major chain supermarkets have reopened. Altogether, 183 are operating offline and the rest take orders online.

More than 2,200, or one-third, of the outlets of the city's major chain convenience stores have resumed business. More than 670 are operating offline, and the rest take orders online and make offline deliveries.

Shanghai is at a critical transition from emergency response to normalized epidemic prevention and control, Chen said. The government will continue providing living necessities of better quality and more variety to residents in lockdown and controlled zones more frequently.

The commerce authority also said nearly two-thirds of the key foreign trade enterprises in the city's first business resumption "white list" have resumed operations. There are 142 enterprises in goods trade, service trade, foreign capital headquarters and port service on the first white list. The 562 enterprises on the second list are also making preparations for resumption, said Gu.

"Also, we're establishing a regular dialogue mechanism with consulates and foreign business associations in Shanghai to strengthen policy interpretation so as to seek understanding and support and stabilize development expectations of foreign-funded enterprises," said Gu.

The city registered 166 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 1,203 asymptomatic cases on Saturday. All the infections were found among quarantine and lockdown populations. As of Saturday, there were 286 patients severely ill with COVID-19 in Shanghai, and 67 were in critical condition.

The city reported three COVID-19 deaths on Saturday. The average age of the three was 75, and they all suffered from serious underlying diseases, which contributed to their deaths.