Beijing is loosening pandemic control after about a month of striving to contain COVID transmission, with more public places allowed to resume as June rolls over.

Yet, as Taiwanese media EBC Dongsen News reported on May 31, China’s capital has only expanded its collection of makeshift quarantine beds, going against expectations of easing the zero-COVID policy.

In the suburban Fenghuangling, lines of trucks carrying makeshift cabins were entering the construction site. There were also migrant workers with luggage. 

The temporary quarantine site is Fenghuangling Scenic Spot, with EBC Dongsen News saying located in Beijing’s Haidian District. It is large enough to host 6,000 hospital beds and is estimated to be four times larger than Wuhan’s Huoshenshan and Leishenshan isolation sites.

A worker told the news agency that the site has been scheduled to be fully erected by June 5.

According to CNBC, China’s capital has allowed some public services to resume operations, although not at full capacity. Major shopping malls and at least an amusement park have announced their return. Workers in some places are coming back to their workplace. But indoor dining remained forbidden, with restaurants allowed to offer takeaways only.

Nonetheless, as Dongsen News reported, Beijing citizens said there have not been many people on the streets. On the first day of traffic restoration in Chaoyang District, the streets were still mostly deserted.

The city has avoided a citywide lockdown by imposing stringent restrictions, which include closing down separate complexes and locations.

The pandemic has lasted in Beijing for more than a month. As of May 29, the city reported lowered cases for the eighth consecutive day, although there had been no day clear of new detection. It was also the first time in 37 days that the number of new local confirmed cases in Beijing has dropped to single digits in a day.

The bright signs did not linger long as on May 30, officials announced that 18 new cases were detected in the afternoon that day.

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