Following two months of frustration and economic loss, Shanghai’s COVID-19 lockdown ended at midnight on Wednesday morning, prompting celebrations tempered with worries that an outbreak could return, reports Reuters. Most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents can now freely leave home, return to work, use public transport providing they have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours, and drive their cars.
At midnight, small groups gathered in the city’s former French Concession neighbourhood whistled, shouted “ban lifted” and clinked glasses of champagne.
Earlier, streets were lively as residents picnicked on grassy patches and children rode bikes down carless roads. Dancing retirees, a common evening sight in Chinese cities, strutted their stuff for the first time in months in open air plazas and along the Huangpu river.