Helping consumers return has been a loosening of quarantine and other restrictions on business and social activity. Restaurants that have satisfied authorities with plans for curbing the risk of infection are now allowed to serve groups of diners and most stores have reopened, though big brands like IKEA and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) have restrictions on crowds.
After being mostly cooped up at home for weeks, Chen Jiayi, a 21-year-old college student in Shanghai, said it was like coming up for air when she went out on Saturday to buy coffee and cake. “There were quite a lot of people in the city center, it was a completely different picture from the end of February. There were even queues at the bubble tea and biscuit shops,” she said.