After another two months of misery and lockdowns, Shanghai is finally starting to lift its Covid restrictions (again).
Authorities in the Chinese city have started "dismantling fences around housing compounds and ripping police tape off public squares and buildings", according to a report published on Tuesday by Reuters.
On Monday night, residents were being allowed out of their compounds for the first time in two months, the report says. Despite the lockdowns starting to come to an end, "there was a sense of wariness and anxiety among residents," Reuters reported.
Joseph Mak, who works in education, commented: "I feel a little nervous. It's hard to believe it's actually happening."
Not only has the recent bout of lockdowns triggered public protests and anger in the city of more than 25 million people, it also threw another sizeable wrench into the global supply chain at a time when the world could least afford it.
Shanghai government spokeswoman Yin Xin told reporters this week: "This is a day that we dreamed of for a very long time. Everyone has sacrificed a lot. This day has been hard-won, and we need to cherish and protect it, and welcome back the Shanghai we are familiar with and missed."
Despite the lockdowns being lifted, residents will still have to test every 72 hours to take public transportation and those who test positive will still be subjected to China's "normal" quarantine procedures.
Shanghai brought COVID under control at "very significant personal and economic cost", commented Julian MacCormac, chair of the British Chamber in China. He continued: "What has materially changed to ensure that this will not happen again? That’s where the uncertainty lies."
Todd Pearson, managing director of Camel Hospitality Group added: "I’m hopeful that they will rush things along to restart the economy. I just hope it’s not at the cost of more outbreaks. I’m not sure many businesses or the people could handle much more."
Qu Weiguo, a professor at the Fudan University school of foreign languages even wrote online: "The Shanghai government needs to make a public apology in order to obtain the understanding and support of the people of Shanghai and repair the damaged relationship between the government and the people."
Now we can start the countdown to the next lockdown. Because...Covid...right?