Most of the curbs are intended to last for a few days for now, although two provincial cities in northern China have extended curbs slightly beyond initial promises.
Non-essential sector employees in Chengdu were asked to work from home, and residents were urged not to leave the city unless needed. Residents who must leave their residential compounds for hospital visits or other special needs must obtain approval from neighbourhood staffers.
Industrial firms engaged in important manufacturing and able to manage on closed campuses were exempted from work-from-home requirements.
Flights to and from Chengdu were dramatically cut back, according to Flight Master data. At 10am local time on Thursday, it showed 398 flights were cancelled at Shuangliu Airport in Chengdu, with a cancellation rate of 62 per cent. At Chengdu’s Tianfu Airport, 79 per cent, or 725 flights, were cancelled.
In Shenzhen, a bustling tech and transport hub bordering Hong Kong, the city’s most populous district, Baoan, on Thursday suspended large events and indoor entertainment for three days and ordered stricter checks of people’s digital health credentials when they enter residential compounds.
Including Baoan, at least half of Shenzhen’s ten districts, home to over 13 million people, have ordered blanket closures of entertainment venues and halted or reduced restaurant dining for a few days, with curbs in two districts expected to be lifted by the end of Thursday.
Data on Thursday showed that Chinese factory activity contracted for the first time in three months in August amid weakening demand, while power shortages and fresh COVID-19 flare-ups disrupted production.