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COVID rules loosen in China after lockdowns in nation's largest city


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China’s largest city revealed more plans to loosen its stringent COVID lockdowns Thursday. 

In Shanghai, officials announced on Thursday that students in junior and senior high school could return to in-person classes starting June 6. 

The metropolis is set to officially emerge from China’s harsh lockdown restrictions June 1, when malls and department stores will be allowed to reopen in batches.

On Wednesday, Shanghai closed the makeshift hospital at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. 

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While Shanghai has moved to reopen, allowing some of the millions of residents confined to their homes outside to walk and shop for groceries, Beijing authorities have stepped up quarantine efforts. 

Leaders in China’s capital are punishing workplaces that flout COVID regulations, with more districts implementing work-from-home rules. 

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Beijing has also ordered rounds of mass testing, shuttered subway lines and advised residents to avoid moving between city districts. 

Indoor dining has been banned, and schools and tourist sites are closed. 

However, Beijing has not yet gone as far as sweeping lockdown measures. 

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Shanghai’s strict “zero-COVID” strategy came under fire internationally, especially after reports of food and medicine shortages during stringent weeks-long quarantines. 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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