Beijing closes Universal Studios and bans restaurants in large-scale Covid restrictions

The Labor Day holiday, which began on Saturday this year, has traditionally been a busy time for mass travel and gatherings in China. But there is little holiday spirit this year as the Chinese government doubles down on its zero Covid policy to fight the country’s worst outbreak since Wuhan.

Many local governments have ordered residents not to leave their cities unless absolutely necessary, and have imposed lengthy quarantine requirements for people coming from areas where there are cases of Covid. have been reported. China’s Transport Ministry expects 100 million trips to be made during the holiday – a 62% drop from last year.
As a month-long lockdown continues in the financial hub of Shanghai, the Chinese capital from Beijing is facing a new Omicron outbreak that has put officials and residents on edge.

Many Beijing residents rushed to stock up on food and daily necessities last week, fearing a Shanghai-style lockdown could cause shortages.

Beijing authorities have already carried out several rounds of mass testing, blocked dozens of residential communities and suspended schools, but restrictions were tightened at the start of the holiday.

Beijing tests 20 million residents amid 'fast and furious' Omicron outbreak

On Saturday, Beijing authorities announced that dining services at restaurants would be suspended during the holiday period.

After the holiday, workers and students will be required to present a negative Covid test – taken within the last 48 hours – in order to return to work or school. And starting May 5, residents must provide a negative Covid test – taken within the previous seven days – to enter all public places, including public transport. All residents are required to take a Covid test at least once a week, according to officials.

On Sunday, Universal Beijing Resort said its Universal Studios theme park and CityWalk shopping district would be closed immediately after receiving “guidance” from disease control officials. He did not say when the park will reopen.

Beijing reported 59 local infections on Sunday, the highest number of daily cases in its current outbreak. The city has recorded more than 300 cases since April 20.

Meanwhile, in Shanghai, officials said on Sunday that community transmission in the city had been “effectively brought under control” after more than a month of strict lockdown that confined most of its 25 million residents to their homes.

Shanghai reported 7,872 local cases on Sunday, continuing an overall downward trend since April 13, officials told a news conference. The city also reported 38 new deaths, bringing the total death toll from the current outbreak to 422.

Over the past two weeks, the city has stepped up efforts to send all cases to government quarantine locations.

Many elderly Shanghai citizens, some with serious underlying illnesses that they cannot take care of themselves, were taken to makeshift quarantine facilities, sparking public protests. The government has also installed metal fences outside apartment buildings where there have been recent cases to prevent people from leaving, sparking even more anger.

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