The city of Beijing bans dining in restaurants as Covid controls in China tighten

As part of the latest Covid controls, the Chinese capital Beijing banned in-store meals at the start of a five-day vacation, prompting restaurants to sell outdoor food.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

BEIJING – Two months into China’s latest Covid epidemic, many companies in the country’s two largest cities by GDP face new or existing operational constraints.

Over the weekend, the capital Beijing closed theme parks and banned dining at restaurants to check for Covid, just as a five-day vacation began. During last year’s holidays, National tourism revenue nationwide more than doubled from the previous year, according to official data.

Universal Beijing Resort is closed on Sunday until further notice. All gyms, live entertainment and entertainment venues, internet cafes and other indoor sports facilities will close for the holidays, which will officially last until Wednesday, the city government said.

A major luxury mall in the city said Friday it would close temporarily due to the restrictions related to Covid.

Meanwhile, Shanghai, which has been subjected to some of the toughest lockdowns in the entire city, has shown some signs of easing restrictions in recent days.

The city announced Saturday that it had added 1,188 more companies to a white list for resumption of production. For the initial list announced in mid-April of 666 companies – including 247 financed from abroad – more than 80 percent had returned to work, the city said.

Prior to the release of the second list, the EU Chamber of Commerce in China said the whitelist “is a promising signal for Shanghai’s rebound.”

But the shortage of truckers and the relocation of workers between factory bubbles and their homes remained a challenge, said Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, vice president of the chamber and president of Shanghai. She estimated on Friday that the supply chain and logistics challenges would last until the end of June.

As of Monday, the number of people in Shanghai subject to stricter stay-at-home orders dropped to 2.5 million, down from 5.3 million four days earlier, according to official data. On Sunday, municipal authorities announced that six regions of Shanghai had contained the virus at the community level, but not most of the central areas of the city.

The city said it is building sites for regular virus testing.

For Monday, Mainland China reported a drop in new Covid cases with symptoms, to 368 versus closer to 1,000 or much more in recent weeks. Shanghai reported the most cases with symptoms, at 274, while Beijing came in second with 51 new cases with symptoms.

Although residents are not allowed to leave parts of the city in isolation, businesses in other areas generally remain open to those who have had a negative virus test in the past 48 hours.

Beijing has conducted multiple rounds of mass testing in the past week. He also announced that weekly tests would be needed after the holidays to take public transport or go to public areas such as supermarkets.

On Sunday, the city announced the opening of a centralized quarantine facility with 1,200 beds.

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