After roughly a monthlong suspension of offline business due to Shanghai's recent COVID-19 outbreak, a few large supermarket chains in the city's Putuo district began reopening on Thursday to better meet people's needs.
China Daily arrived at the district's Zhenbei Road at around 8:30 am on Thursday, finding that a number of consumers carrying bags or dragging small trolleys were waiting for the Metro supermarket to open. The queue was arranged in a winding manner.
"The winding queue can help consumers maintain social distance and avoid crowding caused by lining up in a straight line," said Wang Hongyu, manager of the Metro, who added that the supermarket had made full preparations for resuming offline operations amid the epidemic.
According to Wang, all the consumers were residents living in neighborhoods in precautionary zones of the district's Changzheng town, and the time for the communities to come to shop had been prescribed.
To prevent crowds, the market is allowing 300 people at a time to shop for 45 minutes. Staff members will then disinfect some major areas, including the check-out area, the frozen food section and restrooms, in 15 minutes to ensure safety for the next wave of consumers, he said.
"While scanning their health codes, consumers also need to show their community pass cards and their invitation tickets from the supermarket before shopping," he added.
Liu Li walked out of the market on Thursday morning carrying a big package of groceries. He said his residential compound committee had informed him on Wednesday that the Metro would resume offline business.
"The foods I just bought are those that are difficult to get and that I really want to eat during the lockdown period," he said, adding that he would carry them 2 kilometers to his home.
Deng Huaihua expressed her excitement about shopping offline. Carrying packages of food and daily necessities, the elderly consumer said: "I prefer to select goods in a market, because I'm not good at using the smartphone to order products online."
Lianhua Supermarket's Taopu branch in the district also opened its doors at 8:30 am on Thursday, allowing surrounding residents from communities in precautionary zones to shop.
After showing his community pass card and a shopping invitation ticket, a consumer surnamed Cai came into the market. He bought some meat, seasonings and daily necessities in about 40 minutes, adding that he does not need to get too much because the supply at home is sufficient.
Zhang Haifeng, from the Baililu police station of the Putuo public security sub-bureau, was working with other officers to keep consumers in order on Thursday morning. He said that the market is required to allow 120 consumers to shop at a time for about one hour to prevent crowding, followed by a round of disinfection.
To help ensure sufficient supplies for those shopping in the evening, Wang Xing, manager of Lianhua's Taopu branch, said that every consumer is limited to buying just one of a particular item and can only spend up to 500 yuan ($75) each visit.
"Additionally, consumers can check out either through manual or self-service platforms," he said.
Under the closed-loop management, the supermarkets have never ceased online orders, helping ensure local residents have what they need.