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2020-04-08 07:07:50

HUBEI, Central China — After 76 days of lockdown, Wuhan, the city at the heart of China’s coronavirus outbreak, is finally free to reconnect with the country. At midnight on April 8, the blockade at the Gongjialing toll station — one of the major arteries connecting Wuhan with other cities in Hubei province — was dismantled and removed.

A few days prior, Hankou Railway Station began welcoming travelers back to the city, and from Wednesday, passenger trains have the green light to depart from Wuhan. Amid the lifting of the lockdown, locals are venturing out to partake in the city’s breakfast culture — or guozao, in the Wuhanese dialect — as they eye a return to relative normality.

Traffic police wait near the Gongjialing toll station ahead of Wuhan’s reopening at midnight Wednesday, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Traffic police wait near the Gongjialing toll station ahead of Wuhan’s reopening at midnight Wednesday, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Vehicles pass through the Gongjialing toll station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Vehicles pass through the Gongjialing toll station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

An aerial view of vehicles passing through a toll station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Sun Zhan for Sixth Tone

An aerial view of vehicles passing through a toll station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Sun Zhan for Sixth Tone

Passengers wait for a gate to open at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Passengers wait for a gate to open at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A woman waits for her early-morning train at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Hers is the first train departing from the station. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A woman waits for her early-morning train at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Hers is the first train departing from the station. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A Hankou Railway Station worker notifies passengers to board their train in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A Hankou Railway Station worker notifies passengers to board their train in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Passengers en route to Jingzhou, a nearby city, wait for their train to depart from Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Passengers en route to Jingzhou, a nearby city, wait for their train to depart from Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

The morning sky outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

The morning sky outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Passengers congregate outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Passengers congregate outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A father and daughter wait outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A father and daughter wait outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Sanitation workers chat on the street in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Sanitation workers chat on the street in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A woman prepares “hot and dry noodles,” a local culinary specialty, at a breakfast stall in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A woman prepares “hot and dry noodles,” a local culinary specialty, at a breakfast stall in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A man eats breakfast on the sidewalk in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A man eats breakfast on the sidewalk in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A Wuhan subway station staff member poses for a photo before starting his shift in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A Wuhan subway station staff member poses for a photo before starting his shift in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Medical workers pose for a group photo ahead of the reopening of Wuhan, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Medical workers pose for a group photo ahead of the reopening of Wuhan, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A woman holds her cat by the Yangtze River in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

A woman holds her cat by the Yangtze River in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Twilight along Yangtze River in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Twilight along Yangtze River in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 7, 2020. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

Editors: David Paulk and Ding Yining.

(Header image: A man eats dumplings for breakfast in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 8, 2020. Originally from Jiangxi province, the man volunteered at a local nursing home after becoming stranded in Wuhan. He plans to return home soon. Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone)