After a bruising lockdown in Shanghai and severe curbs in Beijing were needed to halt the spread of COVID-19, China is doubling down on mass testing in a move that’s dashing hopes for a shift away from its costly "COVID zero" strategy.

A network of tens of thousands of lab testing booths are being set up across the country’s largest and most economically vital cities, with the goal of having residents always just a 15 minute walk away from a swabbing point. The infrastructure will allow cities like Beijing, Shanghai, tech hub Shenzhen and e-commerce heartland Hangzhou to require tests as often as every 48 hours, with negative results needed to get on the subway or enter a store.

Researchers at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University designed robots to automate the swabbing process. Companies are dangling monthly salaries exceeding 10,000 yuan ($1,487) to recruit staff for the white, modular buildings that feature either sliding windows reminiscent of an amusement park entry point or two circular holes, chest-high, that allow workers to slip out gloved hands for swabbing purposes.