Beijing reopens shopping malls, cinemas, gyms after month-long tough battle against Omicron
Published: May 29, 2022 11:31 AM
The Joy City in Chaoyang district reopens on Sunday morning with anti-epidemic measures. Photo: Liu Caiyu/GT

The Joy City in Chaoyang district reopens on Sunday morning with anti-epidemic measures. Photo: Liu Caiyu/GT

Beijing residents embrace a joyful Sunday in newly reopened shopping malls, cinemas, gyms in areas with no new COVID-19 cases, a major step toward normalcy, after a month-long closure due to the tough battle against Omicron.

Major shopping malls in Chaoyang district - the largest and most populous district in Beijing and the first to be controlled a month ago due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases - including SKP, China World Mall, China Central Place, Joy City and Solana announced they reopen their doors starting from Sunday morning, with anti-epidemic measures.

A continuous stream of visitors could be seen at Joy City, a major shopping mall in Chaoyang district, when it was reopened on Sunday morning. Sellers in shops were making final arrangements to welcome their customers, while some restaurants were seen offer takeout food to diners. 

"When I heard the big news, I couldn't wait to take my kid out. We had some ice-cream… I believe the Beijing's epidemic is getting better. We shouldn't be too worried," a customer surnamed Li told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Cinemas in districts where they have not been any new COVID-19 cases within seven days, are opened at 50 percent capacity. Films available these days include I Really Hate Long-distance Relationships, The Battle at Lake Changjin II, Fantastic Beasts: The Mystery of Dumbledore, will be on the screen starting from Sunday morning. 

The new measures came in place after authorities announced on Saturday's press conference that the overall epidemic situation in Beijing is on a downward trend, and sporadic cases in individual districts are all under control. The current outbreak of the epidemic has been effectively controlled. 

Meanwhile, museums and gyms also resume business with a limit on the number of visitors, but those located in basements will remain close. 

Some parks, scenic spots that are unaffected by COVID-19 also reopen their gates with the visitors' flow scaled by 50 percent. Beijing's amusement park Happy Valley announced that it will welcome visitors starting on Tuesday on an appointment basis; however, indoors entertainment facilities will not open in accordance with the anti-COVID-19 requirements. 

 Except for locked-down areas, buses, subways and taxis in Chaoyang, Shunyi and Fangshan districts also resume service starting from Sunday.

To facilitate the exit and entry of passengers, 64 subway stations in the capital were equipped with automatic nucleic acid testing checking system which allows passengers to pass through in seconds simply by scanning their phones. 

A certificate of negative nucleic acid testing within 48 hours and health code, body temperature and facial masks will still remain mandatory requirements for entering any public palaces. 

Hotels and guesthouses in five suburban districts: Mentougou, Pinggu, Huairou, Miyun and Yanqing are set to reopen on Sunday.

New control measures were confirmed in Fangshan and Shunyi, where the majority of people are still advocated to work from home now can go to work normally, while in Chaoyang and Tongzhou, which have reported no new community transmissions for five consecutive days, will gradually increase the rate of people returning to their workplaces.

Despite the eased measures, health experts believe the public should not lower their guard. There are still seven high-risk areas and 16 medium-risk areas in the city. Dine-in services of restaurants are yet to be resumed and kindergartens and schools remain closed. 

Global Times