Residents photograph bougainvillea flowers along Shixia No. 4 Street in Futian District yesterday. Sun Yuchen
Zhang Xiaohui, boss and cashier of a steamed rice roll shop in southern Futian District, felt happy and relieved when she saw incessant visitors coming to her shop for breakfast on the first day of her business yesterday.
At the entrance to Central Village in Xinzhou Community, Shatou Subdistrict, where strict COVID control measures are still in place, the eatery is one of the few that have started business.
“The eatery has been closed for 30 days. If it were closed for another month, I would go bankrupt,” Zhang said. During the month, she had no income, but she had to pay rent of about 15,000 yuan (US$2,354) and her three employees’ salaries. Due to her shop’s prime location, Zhang didn’t worry about her business.
Lockdown was lifted for four buildings in Central Village yesterday, according to a notice issued by Futian’s COVID prevention and control headquarters Monday.
For the whole morning yesterday, about 200 boxes of steamed rice rolls were sold.
“After the lockdown was lifted, people living in Central Village can enter and exit, and many of them are our regular customers. In addition, online orders will bring more income to our shop,” Zhang said.
At the entrance to Central Village, residents must scan their ID cards and go through facial recognition checks for entry and exit.
A five-minute walk from the shop, a wet market also reopened for its first day of business. The market was closed for nearly a month under tight control measures. Customers now must scan venue codes and present a negative 48-hour nucleic acid test result before entering.
“There are not many people buying vegetables now,” a market vendor surnamed Zhou told Shenzhen Daily. “The first day of business is not quite satisfactory and many stall owners are still preparing for reopening their businesses,” Zhou added, hoping her vegetables will sell well to cover her monthly 3,000-yuan rent.
“Due to the pandemic, many people prefer to cook at home. Even though the lockdown has been lifted, I think more people will prefer to buy and cook their own food instead of dining out,” Zhou said.
At around 8:30 a.m., Xinzhou No. 1 Street had queues of cabs for people returning to work. Two young women holding computers were seen hailing a cab to go to their workplace at Futian Bonded Zone.
“It is nice to return to work in the office. Working at home is low in efficiency and spirit,” one of the women said.
Futian Bonded Area, which houses high-tech, modern logistics, high-end service and international trade industries, has around 100,000 people working in the area. One of the companies there, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), has 2,000 employees. To avoid traffic jams in the area, the company has allowed its employees to stagger their working hours in the office and its canteen has limited the number of diners to 50% of its capacity.
“We get guidance from the government to implement COVID rules such as disinfecting imported materials while resuming production,” said Wei Jin, vice president of HGST. Statistics from Fubao Subdistrict Office showed that 50,000 employees in the bonded area have been back on duty.
“We will implement targeted relief measures to solve enterprises’ difficulties and minimize COVID’s impact on social and economic development,” said Lai Rui, head of the Enterprises Service Department of the subdistrict office.