Shanghai aims to return to normal life from June 1
Shanghai aims to reopen broadly and allow normal life to resume from June 1, a city official said on Monday, after declaring that 15 of its 16 districts had eliminated cases outside quarantine areas.
Deputy Mayor Zong Ming, speaking at a daily online news conference, gave the clearest timetable yet for a return to normal for the city's 25 million people who have been frustrated by more than six weeks of lockdowns and inconsistent messaging as to when they can resume their lives.
Shanghai officials declared the city's epidemic under control but they also said their goal until May 21 would be to prevent a rebound in infections, meaning many curbs will remain in place.
Eliminating cases outside quarantine areas is a key condition for resuming normal life under China's strict zero-COVID policy.
The city plans to gradually increase domestic flights and rail services, and from Monday will begin reopening supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies.
Shanghai's lockdown, along with COVID curbs in numerous other Chinese cities, have battered the world's second-largest economy and disrupted global supply chains.
The university responsible for curating the programme and the museum that provided it a platform issued an apology on Tuesday after uproar over a film with a poster found offensive by Hindu groups in Canada. On the other hand, York University, where the film's director is studying, has supported Leena Manimekalai's artistic freedom. A spokesperson for the university also said its logo was used on the controversial poster “without permission”.
The city of Toronto on Tuesday said it is making an exception to its “clean shave” directive for security personnel posted at shelters impacted by Covid-19, after nearly 100 Sikhs were removed from their posts for not meeting the requirement. Security agencies contracted by the city laid off or transferred Sikhs who refused to shave their beard for religious reasons. The matter was raised by the World Sikh Organisation.
A defiant British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was battling to stay in power on Wednesday after his government was rocked by the resignation of two top ministers, who said they could no longer serve under his scandal-tarred leadership. Months of discontent over Johnson's judgment and ethics within the governing Conservative Party erupted with the resignations of Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid within minutes of each other on Tuesday evening.
Two more ministers resigned from the UK government on Wednesday, piling further pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson following the departure of his health and finance ministers. Will Quince, minister for children and families, said he had "no choice but to tender my resignation" while junior transport minister Laura Trott said she was quitting over a loss of "trust" in the government.
The Canadian city of Toronto has apologised to the World Sikh Organization of Canada for any delay' in reinstating Sikh security guards hired by contracted service providers who may have been terminated over a 'no-beard' policy that forced them to choose between their jobs and their faith. A report by the Toronto Sun said over 100 guards had been fired over a rule that requires them to be clean-shaven so they can wear N95 masks.