Here's cheers to dine-in services from Wednesday
Shanghai will reopen dine-in services from Wednesday despite sporadic community COVID-19 infections popping up across the city.
Dine-in services will be restored in the subdistricts and towns that have no medium-risk areas, and report zero community COVID-19 infections within a week, the city's commerce commission announced on Sunday.
Diners must have a 72-hour negative nucleic acid test report. They must also scan the venue code, wear a mask and receive temperature checks to enter the restaurants.
"Local district governments will decide which regions can resume dine-in services according to evaluations of the pandemic situation," said Lai Xiaoyi, an official with the commission.
Dine-in services at local restaurants have been suspended since the city initiated its massive COVID-19 lockdown and control measures in early April.
Most eateries are still only allowed to provide takeaways despite the city having emerged from its long lockdown for nearly a month. Customers have to enjoy their takeaways at outdoor seats of the eateries or stairs at some shopping complexes.
Only part eateries at three outlying districts – Jinshan, Fengxian and Chongming – have restored dine-in services as trial operations for the downtown.
After the citywide reopening, the capacity will be limited to 70 percent at large and medium-size restaurants with business areas covering more than 150 square meters and half at smaller eateries.
Dining tables will be rearranged to to be at least a meters apart, while diners must sit at intervals .
They are also required to use serving spoons and chopsticks as well as control their dining time to within an hour and a half, Lai said.
Restaurants must apply to the district's COVID-19 prevention authority and reopen the dine-in services after an inspection and evaluation.
A preventative disinfection must be conducted before the resumption of the service. The tables, chairs and tableware must be disinfected and cleaned after each set of customers.
Employees are required to take full COVID-19 vaccines and those eligible must get the booster jab. Each staff member must receive daily PCR tests and wear medical masks when serving customers.
Shanghai reported two asymptomatic community COVID-19 cases and added two medium-risk areas on Sunday after detecting zero community cases for five consecutive days.
The patients are a 29-year-old online-hailing car driver living in the outskirt Fengxian District and a 57-year-old cleaner who lives in downtown Jing'an District. Both were detected during regular PCR tests.
According to epidemiological investigation, they had been to markets, shopping malls, a car charging station, a bank and a funeral parlor in Fengxian, Jing'an and Hongkou districts and Pudong in the last two weeks.
Two new medium-risk areas were designated at the village and community that the new cases live, while more than 130 close contacts have been quarantined and are under PCR screening.
Among the 281 environmental samples, eight pieces collected from the online-hailing car tested positive.
There are 13 medium-risk areas in Shanghai's Xuhui, Baoshan, Songjiang, Yangpu, Hongkou, Putuo, Jing'an, Minhang and Fengxian districts. From Monday, a community in Yangpu will be downgraded to a low-risk area from medium risk.
"We should be clearly aware of the risk of COVID-19 resurgence due to the accelerated movements of citizens as well as the fast spread and concealing features of the Omicron variant," said Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission.