After staying home for over a month, Chen Chunmei joins a long line of customers at a popular Beijing restaurant that eats in a huge bowl of crayfish after Covid’s deregulation in the Chinese capital. rice field.

Last month, 22 million cities blocked people from eating out, closed gyms, and closed dozens of subway stations to eradicate the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Curbs, including restaurants, have finally been relaxed.

“I’m very excited, mostly because we’ve been blocked for a long time,” Chen told AFP.

“I order takeaways and food every day. I really wanted to go out for a meal.”

At its peak, Beijing recorded dozens of infections daily.

However, Chinese authorities are working on a Zero Corona strategy. We use rapid blockades, mass testing, and strict travel bans to eliminate even the slightest outbreak.

Chen, 28, said her compound was initially closed for two weeks, but when she was finally allowed to leave the country, a nearby subway station was closed.

“Since then, I’ve been at home,” she said. “At first I thought it would be nice to work from home, but after a while I got bored.”

Authorities were able to return to work this week to residents as the number of cases in Beijing declined (two local asymptomatic infections were reported on Tuesday), and the school said it would resume on June 13.

Universal Beijing Resort has announced that it will reopen on June 15, but Chinese media reported that cinemas and gyms will operate at 75% capacity starting this week in most areas.

Due to the recent Covid case, the two districts are still limited, but restaurant meals are mostly reopened.

-“Lose money”-

Authorities adhere to the Zero-COVID policy, but its economic costs are piled up.

A Beijing company told AFP last month that it made up the bulk of its revenue.

“May revenues were down about 65% year-on-year,” said Zhang Shengtao, Operations Director at Beijing Huda Catering.

He added that the income of restaurant chain staff, which employs nearly 800 people, also fell by about 30 percent last month.

Some people sighed with relief on Monday as dietary restrictions were relaxed.

“I was looking forward to the reopening,” said Wu Jiwen, manager of the restaurant chain Nanjing Massacre Paidan.

“There is no doubt that we have lost money,” he told AFP, adding that outlets rely on food delivery to survive.

However, the resumption of food in Beijing is still partial. Under Covid’s control, his restaurant can only accept up to 50% of its normal capacity “even if it is flooded with customers.”

Beijing requires that negative testing be done within 3 days if you use public transport or enter an office building.

The outbreak in the capital also prevented visitors like 33-year-old Sun Tao from returning to Shanxi.

Dietary relaxation gave him a little rest.

“I’m nervous and vigilant,” said Sun, who left the hotel where he was staying with his wife on Monday night and was waiting for a table at the restaurant.

“But I wanted to feel the taste buds again.”

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