Business establishments slowly reopen in Jinshan

As he entered the "Blue and White Coffee Shop," Shanghai resident Wu took a deep breath of freshly ground coffee.

Due to the closures of brick-and-mortar stores during the nearly two-month-long lockdown in the city, Wu has not had fresh coffee.

"I had been craving fresh coffee for the entire period of lockdown. I only have instant coffee at home. So, as soon as I heard about its reopening, I got up early to buy coffee," Wu said.

Shanghai's malls, markets, restaurants, hair salons, and other businesses have slowly begun to open. The outlying Jinshan District, one of the city's first districts to achieve zero community transmission for COVID-19, has resumed offline operation at 2,096 sites so far.

The coffee shop in Jinshan's Tinglin Town was added to the "white list," which allows businesses to reopen.

Early this morning, store owner Lu Ye thoroughly disinfected the store and posted health information of the staff, including nucleic acid testing records, pandemic control and prevention rules, and other notices on the wall to prepare for the reopening.

"We hope to reassure customers," she said.

Wu arrived at 10am and purchased a cup of Latte, becoming one of the store's first customers. He couldn't wait to get home and have a sip because dine-in service is still prohibited. "I'm excited," he said as he hurriedly raced home.

"Bantang Coffee Shop," a wanghong (Internet celebrity) hangout in Jinshan's Fengjing Town, also reopened today.

Jin Zhenzhu, the store's owner, arrived one hour before the reopening to ensure that everything was in order. As she walked into the store, she felt a bit strange. "It's been almost two months," she said, clearly moved.

But when her "old friends" – loyal customers – arrived, she quickly dispelled the nagging lump of tension in her heart. "They tell me they're always here because of what they've done," she said. "They gave me confidence in resuming my business."

"Long time no see! Five cups of Latte please," said Li, one of her "old friends." "I came to buy some for myself and my friends; for us, coffee is more than just a drink; it represents the city's return to normalcy."

Popular drink stores in Jinshan's Zhujing Town, such as Starbucks, COCO, and Yi Dian Dian, are also preparing to reopen in two days. They've started delivery services.

Jinshan's ancient towns are known for delicious snacks such as zongzi (wrapped, steamed glutinous rice dumplings with various fillings), a traditional food of the Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place in June.

Zhang, a local resident, came to buy some zongzi shortly after "Aunt Cheng's Zongzi" reopened its store in Fengjing this morning. "It's my favorite zongzi store. It's fantastic that my family will be able to sample its zongzi before the Dragon Boat Festival," he said.

Zhu Xiaoling, the store manager, had been wrapping zongzi since early in the morning. Usually, the store sold more than 10,000 zongzi per day on average. Despite the pandemic, Zhu is optimistic about sales this year.

"Business and deliveries have resumed. We're working on getting more zongzi to tables," she said.

According to the Jinshan government, more stores will reopen their doors to meet the needs of the locals.