An announcement was made yesterday on the Shanghai municipal government official WeChat account (上海发布) stating that dine-in will resume on June 29, following a press conference held on the epidemic prevention and control.

Dine-in will be restored to sub-districts and areas that have no medium-risk areas and have zero community infections within a week.

The commerce commission released guidelines:

  • Dine-in will be restored to businesses that have reported to their district’s office for prevention and control, and after the venue has been inspected and evaluated by the relevant regulatory authorities.
  • Venues have been urged to ask eligible employees to complete their vaccination. Employees must perform daily nucleic acid tests and wear medical or surgical masks throughout service.
  • Implore businesses to adopt contactless ordering/menus and payment methods.
  • Implement limited capacity protocols, including table spacing (one meter apart). Capacity limitations are 70% for businesses with an area of more than 150sqm, venues with <150sqm shall be limited to 50% capacity.
  • Full disinfection of the premises, daily cleaning and disinfection of tables, chairs, tableware, and each time after a diner leaves.
  • Requirement for digital sentries at the entrance of the venue. (These are the ones that scan your green code and temperature, and supposedly log the information somewhere.) All diners must have a 72-hour negative PCR test and <37.3 ℃.
  • Provide serving utensils for shared dishes. Suggested dining time is 1.5 hours.

Etc…

But what does this all mean?

These are all still classified as “suggestions”. For the most part, it’s all still a grey area. Ultimately, the final decision depends on the rules of each district and sub-district. It is likely that restaurants (cafes, bars, and clubs) will undergo a phased re-opening.

It takes a restaurant 2-3 days to reopen from being completely closed—restocking, filling the roster, prepping, disinfecting, etc. At the time of publishing this article, I had reached out to multiple restaurants for comment—asking if they are able to receive bookings from June 29 onwards—but it seems that more time is required to gain approvals from government bodies, etc.

It’s good news to hear that dine-in will “resume on June 29,” but it might take a little longer for that to become a reality. Then again, a lot might change within two days.

More news and updates on which restaurants you can book ahead coming soon.

Side note: Camping and picnicking at West Bund is now prohibited, also announced yesterday. If you do go, you can’t put mats on the grass, can’t gather in groups, can’t have food or drink, or have any fun in general. For how long? Who knows.