People travel on a subway in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a COVID-19 lockdown that kept the city under heavy-handed restrictions for two months. | AFP-JIJI
People travel on a subway in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a COVID-19 lockdown that kept the city under heavy-handed restrictions for two months. | AFP-JIJI

Following two months of frustration, despair and economic loss, Shanghai’s draconian COVID-19 lockdown ended Wednesday, prompting celebrations tempered with fear that an outbreak could return.

Most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents can now freely leave home, return to work, use public transport and drive their cars — a moment that for many in China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city felt like it would never arrive.


People wearing face masks practice Tai Chi on a shopping street in Shanghai on Wednesday, after the lifting of a COVID-19 lockdown. | REUTERS
People wearing face masks practice Tai Chi on a shopping street in Shanghai on Wednesday, after the lifting of a COVID-19 lockdown. | REUTERS
People travel on a subway in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a COVID-19 lockdown that kept the city under heavy-handed restrictions for two months. | AFP-JIJI
People travel on a subway in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a COVID-19 lockdown that kept the city under heavy-handed restrictions for two months. | AFP-JIJI
A worker rides a bicycle on a street in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a heavy-handed COVID-19 lockdown that lasted two months. | AFP-JIJI
A worker rides a bicycle on a street in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a heavy-handed COVID-19 lockdown that lasted two months. | AFP-JIJI
People wait for a train at a subway station in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a COVID-19 lockdown that kept the city closed for two months with heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
People wait for a train at a subway station in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Wednesday, after the end of a COVID-19 lockdown that kept the city closed for two months with heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A man flies a kite to mark Children's Day on The Bund in Shanghai, after a COVID-19 lockdown was lifted Wednesday. | REUTERS
A man flies a kite to mark Children’s Day on The Bund in Shanghai, after a COVID-19 lockdown was lifted Wednesday. | REUTERS
A health worker makes a heart with her hands while waiting to take swab samples from people in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Tuesday as the city prepared to lift more curbs after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A health worker makes a heart with her hands while waiting to take swab samples from people in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Tuesday as the city prepared to lift more curbs after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
People chat and drink on a street in Shanghai on Tuesday, as the city prepared to end a COVID-19 lockdown. | REUTERS
People chat and drink on a street in Shanghai on Tuesday, as the city prepared to end a COVID-19 lockdown. | REUTERS
People stand next to barriers in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Tuesday, as the city prepared to lift COVID-19 curbs after two months of heavy-handed virus restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
People stand next to barriers in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Tuesday, as the city prepared to lift COVID-19 curbs after two months of heavy-handed virus restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
People hug on a street in Shanghai on Tuesday, as the city prepared to end a COVID-19 lockdown. | REUTERS
People hug on a street in Shanghai on Tuesday, as the city prepared to end a COVID-19 lockdown. | REUTERS
A health worker takes a swab sample from a man in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Tuesday as the city prepared to lift a COVID-19 lockdown after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A health worker takes a swab sample from a man in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Tuesday as the city prepared to lift a COVID-19 lockdown after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A health worker takes a swab sample from a woman in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on Tuesday as the city prepares to lift a COVID-19 lockdown after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A health worker takes a swab sample from a woman in the Jing’an district of Shanghai on Tuesday as the city prepares to lift a COVID-19 lockdown after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A family poses for a picture on The Bund in the Shanghai's Huangpu district Tuesday as the city prepared to lift a COVID-19 lockdown after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A family poses for a picture on The Bund in the Shanghai’s Huangpu district Tuesday as the city prepared to lift a COVID-19 lockdown after two months of heavy-handed restrictions. | AFP-JIJI
A local resident rides a scooter with three childen at a market in Shanghai's Pudong district Tuesday, ahead of the lifting of a COVID-19 lockdown in the city. | AFP-JIJI
A local resident rides a scooter with three childen at a market in Shanghai’s Pudong district Tuesday, ahead of the lifting of a COVID-19 lockdown in the city. | AFP-JIJI
Workers in protective suits disinfect a classroom at a school to prepare for the resumption of classes in Shanghai on Monday. | CNSPHOTO / VIA REUTERS
Workers in protective suits disinfect a classroom at a school to prepare for the resumption of classes in Shanghai on Monday. | CNSPHOTO / VIA REUTERS