Shanghai achieves 'zero COVID' status but normal life is weeks away

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Shanghai achieves 'zero COVID' status but normal life is weeks away


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Shanghai achieved on Tuesday (May 17) the long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones but most residents will have to put up with confinement for a while longer before a return to more normal life.

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For other cities in China that have been under lockdown, a third day with no new cases in the community usually means "zero COVID" status and the beginning of the lifting of restrictions.

The commercial hub of 25 million set out on Monday its clearest timetable yet for exiting a lockdown now in its seventh week, but the plan was met with scepticism by many residents who have seen isolation extended time and again.

Shanghai plans to resume outdoor activities in stages, with some convenience stores and pharmacies reopening this week, but with most restrictions on movement remaining in place until May 21, after which public transport and other services will resume gradually.

By June, the lockdown should be lifted, but residents will still be asked to get tested frequently.

More people were allowed out of their homes this week, with some joggers and dog walkers spotted. One man was seen fishing in the Shanghai river.

But tall fences remained around many residential compounds and there were almost no private cars on the streets with most people still confined to their homes.
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