The Labor Day holiday, which began on Saturday this year, has been a busy time of mass travel and gatherings in China. But there is a bit of holiday spirit this year, as the Chinese government doubles down on its no-coronavirus policy to combat the country’s worst outbreak since Wuhan.
Many Beijingers have scrambled to stock up on food and daily necessities over the past week, fearing that a Shanghai-style lockdown could lead to shortages.
Beijing authorities have already conducted several rounds of mass testing, closed dozens of residential communities and suspended schools, but restrictions were tightened at the start of the holiday.
On Saturday, Beijing officials announced that dining services at restaurants will be suspended during the holiday period.
After the holiday, workers and students will be Required to submit a negative Covid test – taken within the last 48 hours – to return to work or school. Starting May 5, residents must submit a negative Covid test – which has been taken for the previous seven days – to enter all public places, including using public transportation. According to officials, all residents are required to get tested for Covid at least once a week.
On Sunday, Universal Resort Beijing said the Universal Studios theme park and City Walk shopping district would close immediately after receiving “directives” from disease control authorities. She did not say when the park would reopen.
Beijing recorded 59 local infections on Sunday, the highest number of daily infections in the current outbreak. The city has reported more than 300 cases since April 20.
Meanwhile, Shanghai officials said Sunday that community transmission in the city has been “effectively controlled,” after more than a month of a strict lockdown that confined most of its 25 million residents to their homes.
Shanghai recorded 7,872 domestic cases on Sunday, officials reported at a press conference, continuing the overall downward trend since April 13. The city also reported 38 new deaths, bringing the total death toll in the current outbreak to 422.
Over the past two weeks, the city has stepped up efforts to send all cases to government quarantine sites.