Shanghai turns on the “table leader” mode, responsible for controlling people at the same table to comply with anti-epidemic regulations during meals.

According to Xinhua Daily Telegraph, on June 26, Shanghai officials announced that eateries would be opened in an orderly way on June 29. They prescribed specific eating times and implemented the “table leader mode.” The topic “Shanghai encourages the implementation of the ‘table leader’ quickly became a hot search on Weibo. One Weibo user said, “We should set up a ‘Secretary of the dining table committee,’ resolutely managing party cadres, and grasping the political direction of each table.”

On June 26, at the 218th press conference on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, Shanghai announced that from June 29, “in streets and towns that do not belong to areas of moderate or higher risk and have no social epidemics in the past week, restaurants and eateries will be opened in an orderly manner.” However, restaurants and eateries must set up a file, limit customers, extend the distance between tables according to the restaurant area, control the number of customers, and separate and alternate seatings. 

A location code or “digital surveillance pin” must be set up at the door (customers must have a 72-hour certificate of a negative nucleic acid test), and there should be no abnormality in any customer’s temperature measurement and recommended the practice of table management. In addition, the eating time is only allowed to last about 1.5 hours.”

According to The Paper, the Shanghai Food and Catering Association revealed that, after the restoration of food service, a “table leader mode” is encouraged, not mandatory. The association’s staff said the “table leader mode” refers to the proposal of one person at the table as the representative of the whole table, often referred to as the “table leader” their primary function is: to order the right food, arrange people at the table to sit in the correct position and distance, urge the use of public chopsticks and spoons during meals, master the eating time, take charge of packing food for home after eating, and instruct people at the table to wear a mask when leaving the table. The “table leader” can be an elderly guest or a student, helping to have a happy meal while reducing food waste and kitchen waste, improving food hygiene and safety, and developing anti-epidemic personal hygiene and other functions.”

Restaurants in Shanghai “encourage the practice of table leader mode,” causing a wave of comments on Weibo.

Vision Times quoted some comments of mainland netizens. They said, “I really don’t understand, so I will ask, what rank is the table leader?” another said: “Finally understood what the table leader does, is to order everyone to take off their masks and eat rice. What’s the point of doing these things?”

Other comments said:

  • “I use my money to buy and eat what I like, nothing to do with you. Why are there so many rules;
  • This is because the population’s immune ability driven by experts failed;
  • Who came up with this idea? Ideas from children’s games? What a shame that they feel glorious;
  • I’m a graduate of the Department of Chinese, but often feel embarrassed because I can’t understand the new words of this era.”

During Shanghai’s lockdown due to the epidemic, food service businesses were not allowed to open for nearly 100 days. However, in the video, people still gathered on the stairs during this time to eat. Some netizens said: “Because the virus has a fear of heights so it won’t work with stairs,” “We won’t eat if we aren’t allowed at restaurants, but why do you forbid food delivery too?”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.