Shanghai bans people travelling to city from restaurants on Covid

Shanghai bans people travelling to city from restaurants on Covid
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(Nov 23): Shanghai will ask new arrivals into the city to stay away from public venues for five days starting from Thursday, as the financial centre seeks to insulate itself from a nationwide Covid surge that’s spurring authorities to revert to tougher restrictions.

People traveling into Shanghai will be barred for those five days from places including restaurants, pubs, shopping malls, supermarkets and wet markets, as well as internet cafes and other entertainment venues, the local government said late Tuesday in a statement posted on its official Weibo account.

They will also be required to undergo an extra nucleic acid test on their fifth day in the city, on top of three tests in the first three days after arriving, according to the statement.

China reported 27,307 new Covid cases for Monday, just shy of the previous record of 28,973 reached in April when Shanghai was locked down to contain a surging outbreak.

The spike in cases comes at a key moment for China, with top leaders’ directions for a more targeted approach to containing Covid spurring confusion on the ground. After easing off on testing and movement restrictions — in line with a new 20-point virus playbook issued by Beijing — officials in some places are imposing mass testing orders and lockdowns again, as they strive to meet the overriding objective of suppressing Covid.

Schools across swathes of Beijing have been shuttered, with students told to study from home, and a negative PCR test taken in the previous 48 hours is now required to enter public venues or take a bus.

Low elderly vaccination

Officials said Tuesday that vaccination rates among the elderly remain low, a hurdle to China opening up and living with Covid like the rest of the world. Fewer than 30% of Covid patients in the capital over 80 have been boostered, disease control official Liu Xiaofeng told reporters.

Areas of Guangzhou, home to the biggest outbreak in China, remain locked down. The Haizhu district, which started levying Covid curbs a month ago, extended its lockdown in parts late Tuesday. Restrictions in Chongqing mean the southwestern megacity is largely in lockdown, despite no sweeping order or directive.

The tough moves come as China starts to report Covid deaths again, the first in about six months. Zhengzhou, a city in China’s east that’s home to the world’s biggest iPhone factory, recorded a death for Nov 19, authorities said on Tuesday.

Shanghai reported 39 new Covid cases for Monday, all in people in quarantine. China isolates all infected people as a way of cutting transmission, a system crafted during the early outbreak in Wuhan, but which is now being challenged by more infectious virus variants.