Beijingers can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as authorities have downgraded the capital city’s COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Effective today, Beijing’s public health emergency response has been lowered from level one to level two. Chen Bei, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing Municipal Government, confirmed to People’s Daily that Beijing would be officially reclassified as “low-risk” at midnight on April 30.
The new status means visitors from low-risk areas no longer have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, according to China News. (The restriction on foreigners arriving into China still applies, however).
Visitors will also be permitted to enter residential communities upon presenting a green health QR code. Face masks, while not officially required in public now, are still highly recommended.
Both Beijing and Hubei, the original epicenter of the pandemic, had enacted some of the strictest measures in the country to contain the virus, with authorities in both locations sticking to the highest level of emergency response measures. Authorities in both regions declared level one emergencies on January 24 in response to the outbreak. A level one emergency is the highest on China’s four-tiered public health emergency system.
One health risk app even labeled Chaoyang district as ‘high risk’ earlier this month. It was the only region in the country to earn such a rating.
But recent developments have indicated that Beijing is finally ready to ease restrictions. This week, China’s top brass confirmed the convening dates for the annual Two Sessions, which are set to take place in the capital on May 21. Meanwhile, local schools began partially reopening on April 27.
And just in time for the Labor Day break, Beijing museums are set to reopen on May 1, according to Xinhua. But visitors will be required to register ahead of time, which could signal the beginning of “appointment-based tourism” in the ’Jing.
No word yet on when the gyms will reopen.
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