Where Did Beijing’s New COVID-19 Cases Come From?

By Alistair Baker-Brian, February 22, 2022

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A number of new local cases of COVID-19 have emerged in Beijing over the past few days. There have also been a number of imported cases, including one individual who tested positive for COVID-19 after 21 days of quarantine. 

Read below for all the latest information on COVID-19 in the capital. 

On Sunday, February 20, it was announced that an individual in Xinyuan Jiayuan residential community in Fengtai district tested positive for COVID-19. This happened in spite of the fact that said individual had already completed a 21-day quarantine elsewhere on the Chinese mainland after returning from Kazakhstan. 

The individual tested negative twice after returning to Beijing but later tested positive after a third test. 

On Tuesday February 22, four imported cases of COVID-19 were detected. All the individuals in question returned from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Authorities there are currently battling an outbreak of the virus which has seen new daily cases in the thousands. 

There were also a number of locally transmitted cases from people who recently returned to Beijing from elsewhere on the Chinese mainland. 

A number of residential communities have implemented entry-only lockdown measures, meaning only residents of the communities in question can enter but currently cannot leave. These include Rongjing Lidu community in Yizhuang, Daxing district and Zhiqiang Beiyuan community building no. 14 in Haidian district.

As of press time, Beijing is still clear of mid- and high-risk areas but you don’t need us to remind you that this can change anytime. 

If you need a reminder of current rules for entering Beijing, see the article below.

READ MORE: Beijing and Tianjin: These COVID-19 Travel Rules Still Apply

Meanwhile, confusion has arisen around new rules for entering Beijing from Tianjin. 

An announcement stated that “commuters” from Tianjin to the Chinese capital would need proof of a negative nucleic acid test issued within 48 hours for their first journey after the implementation of the new rule. However, for any journeys thereafter, “commuters” could show a negative test result issued within 14 days.

However, what constitutes a “commuter” is unclear. That’s employee Anita Wang, a Tianjin local who lives and works in Beijing, asked if her returning from Tianjin to Beijing after a weekend visiting family would make her a “commuter” to which the above rule would apply.  

She was told that “commuters” were, amongst others, people who commuted from Tianjin to Beijing for daily work.  

The definition of a Tianjin-Beijing “commuter” has not been confirmed by any official sources. The same policy of showing a negative test result issued within 14 days has been applied to those who regularly commute from certain places in Hebei province to Beijing. 

And there’s another problem. According to the rules for entering Tianjin, everyone, including those coming from Beijing, must show proof of a negative nucleic acid test result issued within 48 hours. This means that regular commuters would need to be tested every two days in order to return to Tianjin. 

The above rule for entering Tianjin is in place until March 15. 

Confused? We certainly are. Let’s just stay traveling between Beijing and Tianjin is still a little complicated. 

With the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games set to begin on March 4, expect the relatively strict COVID-19 travel rules in the capital to continue for now.

[Cover image via Weibo/@北京晚报]

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