China parties like it’s 2019 as country moves on from coronavirus

China parties like it’s 2019 as country moves on from coronavirus

Bars, nightclubs and beach venues are filling up after months of pandemic controls

People in China are shedding their face masks and partying again, with bars, nightclubs and beach venues across the country filling up after months of pandemic controls.

Last weekend, hundreds of Beijing residents attended a music festival on the beachfront at Beidaihe — a location that also serves as the annual getaway for the Communist party leadership.

To get into the venue, party-goers had to scan their government-designed app that tracks where they have visited, and have their temperatures taken. But once inside the sealed-off resort, they could throw off any thoughts of coronavirus.

“Nobody was wearing masks. It was like we’d all entered a parallel universe and forgot the existence of the epidemic,” said Nancy Lee, 33, an art curator who was one of the festival-goers. “After suffocating at home for more than six months, it was time to loosen up.”

In the capital Beijing, bars and restaurants are becoming busy again. Revellers say they feel they have earned the “freedom to party” after months of strict social distancing from late January.