Shanghai cracking down on entertainment venues flouting COVID-19 rules

Yang Jian
A pub's license has been revoked and other venues are under police investigation as part of a crackdown on businesses that break COVID-19 prevention and control rules.
Yang Jian
Shanghai cracking down on entertainment venues flouting COVID-19 rules

Citizens line up to receive nucleic acid testing in Shanghai on Thursday.

The business license of a pub has been revoked, and an Internet bar and three poker lounges are under police investigation for violation of COVID-19 prevention rules under a citywide crackdown on entertainment and service venues in Shanghai, officials said on Thursday.

An illegally reopened karaoke lounge in Putuo District is the cause of over 300 positive cases and over 200 high- and medium-risk areas across the city since July 3.

Most of the infections were traced back to karaoke bars and pubs that reopened without authorities' approval. These places can gather a large number of people with insufficient COVID-19 protection.

Three rounds of mass inspections are being launched on local restaurants, beauty salons and housekeeping centers as well as the laundry, electrical appliance repair and other service sectors through the end of July, according to the Shanghai Commerce Commission.

Companies are required to first conduct self-examination through July 22, mainly on the daily nucleic acid testing of their employees, disinfection measures, and code canning and temperature checks on customers, as well as mask wearing, social distancing, staggered services and other COVID-19 prevention measures.

The industrial association will inspect venues, find loopholes and order immediate fixes, while the commission will have the final check on companies with problems.

Amid the the mass inspections, the business license of a pub on Wuchuan Road in Yangpu District was revoked on Thursday and heavy fines imposed.

The pub failed to ask employees to take daily PCR tests or customers to scan the venue code between July 1 and 3, which caused a spread of COVID-19 infections, the district government said.

The owners of the pub have been blacklisted as people with poor credit. They will be further punished if any other violations are detected, the Yangpu government said.

Meanwhile, police have begun investigating an Internet bar and three poker lounges in northern Baoshan District that are suspected of reopening without authorization amid the COVID-19 resurgence.

Karaoke bars, Internet cafes, mahjong and poker lounges, live-action role-playing game venues, and other indoor recreation areas are currently banned from reopening.

A large number of people can congregate in such enclosed spaces, creating a significant risk of virus transmission, according to the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.

Citizens are encouraged to call the 12345 public service hotline with tip-offs.

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