Is New Year's Eve Canceled in Beijing Due to COVID-19?

By Alistair Baker-Brian, December 30, 2020

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Life has returned to normal for the vast majority of people in China. However, local outbreaks of COVID-19 still crop up now and again. Beijing is one of the latest cities to experience a handful of new cases. Here’s a short timeline of events and a note about how it could affect your New Year’s Eve celebrations. 

Mon Dec 14

A case is confirmed in Chaoyang district. The man had arrived from Hong Kong and spent 14 days in quarantine. He had been released following a negative COVID-19 test but later started showing symptoms. 

Fri Dec 18

The period of quarantine for overseas arrivals to Beijing is extended from 14 days to 21 days. The move was prompted by the imported case from Hong Kong. 

Sat Dec 19

Two more COVID-19 cases are confirmed, both of whom were close contacts of the imported case. All three confirmed cases had stayed in the Hanting hotel Dashanzi branch nearby the city’s 798 Art District. Authorities declare the hotel and businesses attached to the same building as a medium-risk area. 

Fri Dec 25 

Two new locally transmitted cases are reported. Both are employees in the city’s Shunyi district.  

Sat Dec 26 

Five new locally transmitted cases are reported as well as one asymptomatic case. All patients are from the Shunyi district.  

Sun Dec 27 

Authorities declare two areas (南法信镇西社兰村 and 高丽营镇张喜庄村) in Shunyi district as medium-risk (download the State Council 国务院客户端 mini-program on WeChat for the latest updates).  

Mon Dec 28 

Seven new locally transmitted cases are reported. All patients are from the Shunyi district.

Tue Dec 29 

Another mid-risk area (南法信镇东海洪村) in Shunyi district is declared by authorities. There are now a total of four medium risk areas in Beijing as of press time.


Beijing's four medium-risk areas at the time of writing (screengrab via WeChat)

New Year’s Eve plans? 

It has been reported that Beijing districts, companies and elsewhere have entered into a “state of emergency.” Temple fairs and cultural activities are not to be held. Travel agencies are advised not to organize tours. Venues such as theme parks, churches and elsewhere will run with reduced opening hours.  

Several venues have already confirmed directly with That’s Beijing that some New Year’s Eve events have been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. As always, the situation is ever changing so be sure to double-check in advance.  

In the meantime, keep washing your hands, wearing your mask and doing whatever else to stay safe!

[Cover image via Xinhua]

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