After a 65-day lockdown, the Chinese city of Shanghai is finally reopening on Wednesday, June 1.
Shanghai opens up
The city's approximately 25 million residents are no longer barred from leaving their housing compounds, transportation lines are fully open, and public venues like shopping malls have also opened up.
Some workers have returned to offices, although certain employers still allow work from home arrangements.
According to Global Times, however, residents will have to provide negative results for nucleic acid tests taken 72 hours prior in order to use public transportation and enter public venues.
Shopping malls have also limited their traffic capacity to 75 per cent.
The relaxing of restrictions comes as China reported under 100 new Covid-19 cases for the first time since early March -- 97 new cases were reported nationwide on Monday (May 30), according to Bloomberg.
Of these numbers, Shanghai reported 31 cases, while Beijing reported 18.
In a statement, Shanghai Municipal People's Government said that under Chinese President Xi Jinping's "strong leadership", and after more than two months of "continuous battle", the city is ready to enter the next phase of recovery.
Shanghai residents celebrate
Elated to be back to their lives before the lockdown, Shanghai residents counted down to 12am on June 1 and cheered when the lockdown was finally lifted.
Some even set off fireworks to celebrate the moment.
Residents seen on the streets in the early hours of June 1 expressed their happiness at being able to be out and about away from their homes, and finally enjoy some freedom.
Taxi drivers readied their vehicles before the clock struck 12 in preparation for passengers, and sure enough, they received their first passengers within 10 minutes.
After being cooped indoors for months, residents rushed out of their housing estates as well.
Many also flocked to the Bund, a popular waterfront area, and the area around it to enjoy everyday activities like jogging, cycling and even kite flying.
Not all are able to enjoy the same freedoms, however, as around 640,000 residents remain under lockdown in areas that have not been cleared of Covid infections.
Shanghai's tough lockdown, which was unexpectedly long for several residents, was proof that the country's zero-Covid strategy is unsustainable.
Although the strategy has been effective at wiping out new outbreaks and has kept the death toll from the virus at a minimum, it has come at a social cost to the population.
Some younger Chinese in Shanghai have grown so disillusioned with the authorities' management of the Covid situation that they have vowed to be "the last generation" of Chinese so the generations after them wouldn't have to suffer as they did.
Top image via Weibo