On Saturday, Beijing said that it would permit primary and secondary schools to resume regular in-person instruction, and Shanghai’s top party official declared triumph over COVID-19 after the city reported no new local cases for the first time in two months.
The two big cities were among many in China that put restrictions in place from March to May to deter the Omicron wave from spreading, with Shanghai imposing a two-month citywide lockdown that was lifted on the 1st of June.
The efforts, which are a part of China’s adherence to a zero-COVID policy that aims to eradicate all outbreaks, have reduced the number of cases, but many of the strident measures have stoked discontent and even a few unusual protests, as well as taken a significant economic toll.
In response to an increase in locally transmitted COVID cases, Beijing closed its schools in the first part of May and encouraged pupils to switch to online instruction. Middle and high school seniors were permitted to reenter the classroom on June 2.
The capital’s education authority announced on Saturday that beginning on Monday, all primary and secondary school students in the capital can resume attending in-person lessons due to a recent trend in case numbers moving lower. On July 4, kindergartens will be permitted to reopen.
Separately, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports announced that, except for basement facilities, youth sports activities will resume on June 27 in places other than schools where there have been no recorded community instances for seven days running.
The Universal Beijing Resort reopened on Saturday after being down for nearly two months.
Shanghai, the center of China’s economy, did not disclose any new local cases on June 24—either symptomatic or asymptomatic—marking the first time since Feb. 23.
Li Qiang, the head of the Shanghai Communist Party, declared at the beginning of the city’s party congress on Saturday that the government had won the war to defend Shanghai against COVID by carrying out Xi Jinping’s orders and that Beijing’s decisions regarding the epidemic prevention were completely correct.
But the city’s tension is still high. The majority of students are still prohibited from returning to in-person classes, and eating inside is also prohibited. Additionally, it intends to keep performing weekend-long bulk PCR tests on all of its 25 million citizens.