COVID-19

China’s industries resume production as government officials ease restrictions

Jennifer Pak Mar 30, 2020
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Chinese industrial workers return to the job. STR/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

China’s industries resume production as government officials ease restrictions

Jennifer Pak Mar 30, 2020
Chinese industrial workers return to the job. STR/AFP via Getty Images
Share Now on:
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Nearly all of China’s major industrial companies have reportedly resumed production — Chinese officials put the number at over 95% of large enterprises, including in the hard-hit province of Hubei — after much of the country’s economy shut down to contain the COVID-19 virus. But back to work doesn’t mean back to normal.

Chinese officials say major enterprises in the country’s main industrial belt — the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong — are basically fully open, but a quarter of small- and medium-sized businesses in China are still shut down.

The biggest complaints from companies are travel restrictions and mandatory 14-day self-quarantines, which prevent some of their employees from doing their jobs.

Local Communist Party officials are under immense pressure to restart economic activity and contain the coronavirus — two things that don’t always go together.

Cars and people are back on the streets of Shanghai. The parks are open and simple stuff like going to the movies or visiting a tourist hotspot is gradually being allowed again. Over the weekend, however, officials ordered them to close to prevent the risk of new infection.

Chinese officials are still cautious about restarting the world’s second-largest economy.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Which businesses are allowed to reopen right now? And which businesses are actually doing so?

As a patchwork of states start to reopen, businesses that fall into a gray area are wondering when they can reopen. In many places, salons are still shuttered. Bars are mostly closed, too, although restaurants may be allowed to ramp up, depending on the state. “It’s kind of all over the place,” said Elizabeth Milito of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Will you be able to go on vacation this summer?

There’s no chance that this summer will be a normal season for vacations either in the U.S. or internationally. But that doesn’t mean a trip will be impossible. People will just have to be smart about it. That could mean vacations closer to home, especially with gas prices so low. Air travel will be possible this summer, even if it is a very different experience than usual.

When does the expanded COVID-19 unemployment insurance run out?

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March, authorized extra unemployment payments, increasing the amount of money, and broadening who qualifies. The increased unemployment benefits have an expiration date — an extra $600 per week the act authorized ends on July 31.

You can find answers to more questions here.

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