Shanghai will relax COVID rules on June 1 amid falling cases

Shanghai will relax COVID rules on June 1 amid falling cases
Workers in protective suits rest on a street during lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China, May 28, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

After about two months of lockdowns, Chinese authorities in Shanghai have decided to relax the COVID rules from June 1 as cases are on the decline. The city reported 122 new infections on Saturday, down from 170 on Friday. Only one positive case was found outside government quarantine.

So, starting from Wednesday, if Shanghai residents want to enter public areas and use public transportation, they will need to hold a negative nucleic acid test result taken within the past 72 hours. This is loosened from the previous 48-hour requirement.

For those who want to travel from Shanghai to other places, the travel requirements of having a negative test 48 hours before departing and a negative rapid antigen test 24 hours before departure will remain the same for now. Still, these rules may be upgraded as the situation develops, according to the local government.

On a similar note, Beijing is loosening its COVID curbs, as cases have fallen for seven consecutive days. The city has reopened parts of its public transport system as well as some malls and other venues.

Key comments:

“We firmly hold to the bottom line of preventing a large-scale rebound,” said Shanghai’s Mayor Gong Zheng in an official WeChat post on Sunday. “All districts and departments must promptly monitor the situation, fully support and organize enterprises to resume work and production, and do their best to make up the [economic] loss and [wasted] time.”

“We expect policies to ease further on the fiscal front to boost demand, given downward pressures on growth and the uncertainty of the recovery pace," wrote Goldman Sachs analysts in a Friday note.