The move comes on top of already onerous testing requirements that the city introduced for its 25 million residents after easing a city-wide lockdown on Jun 1.
Residents need to have proof they have taken a COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours to enter areas like malls and offices – or even to use subways and buses. Many have become frustrated about having to queue in hours-long lines at more than 15,000 booths scattered around the city to do so.
Some parts of the city have remained under or returned to lockdown shortly after Jun 1 due to positive cases and their close contacts. Three of the latest infections that have led to several closures were traced to a popular beauty salon in the city centre that reopened when the city did on Jun 1.
While China’s infection rate is low by global standards, President Xi Jinping has doubled down on a zero-COVID policy that authorities say is needed to protect the elderly and the country’s medical system, even as other countries try to live with the coronavirus.
Shanghai’s two-month lockdown fuelled widespread frustration, anger and even rare protests among its residents, as they grappled with lost incomes, the loss of freedom, the death of friends and relatives, and even hunger.
It also battered the Chinese economy, disrupted supply chains and slowed international trade.