China’s ‘Zero-COVID’ Restrictions Curb May 1 Holiday Travel

The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Only a trickle of visitors strolled the pedestrian-only streets Sunday in central Beijing’s historic Qianmen district, which normally would be bustling with tourists on what was a national holiday and a sunny spring day.

Many Chinese marked a quiet May Day this year as the government’s “zero-COVID” approach restricts travel and enforces lockdowns in multiple cities. Millions remain restricted to their buildings or compounds in Shanghai, China’s largest city, under a lockdown that has only slightly eased.

Under an order announced the previous afternoon, all Beijing restaurants were closed to dine-in customers Sunday and can offer only takeout and delivery through the end of the national holiday on Wednesday. Parks and tourist attractions in the Chinese capital are limited to half capacity. The Universal Studios theme park, which opened last year, said it had shut down temporarily.

In Qianmen, the touristy neighborhood around the street that leads to the imposing gates of the former imperial palace, some people bought food from stalls and ate on outdoor benches. Wang Liying said sales at her noodle and stir-fry restaurant have plunged 98% during the holiday compared to last year.


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