Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Covid restrictions ease in Shanghai as case numbers drop

Visitors pose for photos outside the Disney Resort theme park in Shanghai (Chen Si/AP)
Visitors pose for photos outside the Disney Resort theme park in Shanghai (Chen Si/AP)

Shanghai is moving to allow dining out and reopening its Disney Resort theme park as domestically transmitted cases of Covid-19 in China’s largest city remain at zero following a more than two-month lockdown.

Chinese officials hailed their hardline “zero-Covid” policy for stemming the growth of cases and deaths from the virus, despite the enormous cost to the Chinese economy and the impact on international supply chains reliant on China’s manufacturing and shipping abilities.

China has repeatedly defended the policy and indications are it will maintain “zero-Covid” at least through to the spring of 2023, when President Xi Jinping is expected to be installed for a third five-year term as head of the world’s second-largest economy and a rising competitor to the United States in the Indo-Pacific region.

In remarks carried by the official Xinhua News Agency, Mr Xi said on Wednesday that China’s policies against the virus have “protected people’s lives and health to the greatest extent”.

Visitors queue to enter the Disney Resort theme park in Shanghai
Visitors queue to enter the Disney Resort theme park in Shanghai (Chen Si/AP)

Mr Xi was speaking during a visit to the central city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected in late 2019 before the outbreak of the pandemic that has killed more than 6.3 million people worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

“If China had adopted the ‘herd immunity’ policy or a hands-off approach, given its large population, the country would have faced catastrophic consequences,” Xinhua quoted Mr Xi as saying.

“Even if there are some temporary impacts on the economy, we will not put people’s lives and health in harm’s way, and we must protect the elderly and the children in particular.”

Having associated himself so closely with the zero-Covid policy, any backdown by Mr Xi would be seen as a political liability as he seeks to ensure his further control of domestic power and influence abroad.

China’s tough approach, which involves lockdowns on hundreds of millions of people, mass testing costing billions of pounds and quarantines upending thousands of lives “are the most economical and effective”, Xinhua reported Mr Xi as saying.

Despite the loosened restrictions, a negative test result on a mobile phone is still required for access to most public spaces in Shanghai and other cities.