‘Can I Leave Beijing?’ and other COVID-19 News from the Capital

By Alistair Baker-Brian, January 21, 2022

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Another Spring Festival on the horizon, and another small cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing. 

During the 270th Press Conference on COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control by the Information Office of the Beijing Municipality on January 20, 2022, it was announced that two new mid-risk areas in the capital had been declared in Fengtai and Fangshan districts.

Wanliuyuan residential community in Fengtai and Beiyang Cheng neighborhood in Fangshan have each reported three confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 14 days. 

Between January 15 and January 21, several new cases have been reported across the capital in Haidian, Chaoyang, Fengtai and Fangshan districts. 

Many Beijing residents noticed a change to their Travel Code (行程码). While the Code itself remains green, users can see at the bottom of the screen that Beijing is labeled with a star and a notice. 

The notice states that the user has been in Beijing within the past 14 days and that Beijing currently has mid- and or high-risk areas; however, this does not mean that said user has visited those specific risk areas.   

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The notice regarding travel history to Beijing can be seen at the bottom of the Travel Code app. Screengrab via Alistair Baker-Brian/That's

This left many asking, ‘can I still leave Beijing?’

In most cases, the short answer is yes. Many places simply require your Travel Code to be green. 

However, as always when you travel around China in the COVID age, double check the requirements of your destination before you set off. 

Take note too of Beijing’s rules for leaving and entering the city. You shouldn’t leave, unless absolutely necessary; before entering Beijing, you need proof of a negative nucleic acid test result issued within 48 hours of departure; and according to the most recently introduced rule, travelers to the capital must undergo a further nucleic acid test within at least 72 hours of arrival. 

READ MORE: New Rule For Entering Beijing as Omicron Variant Hits Capital

And don’t discount the possibility of getting stuck outside Beijing; those with 14-day travel history to areas which have recently reported one case or more of COVID-19 may not be able to enter the city – something to bear in mind before you travel. 

In another COVID-related development, China’s State Post Bureau announced that from January 25 until March 13, a “second security check” would be required for all mail heading to Winter Olympic cities Beijing and Zhangjiakou.  

The measures will see mail undergo enhanced disinfection to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Authorities in Beijing recently claimed that a parcel from Canada was responsible for the city’s first case of the omicron variant. The public has been warned to exercise caution when handling packages from overseas. 

READ MORE: China Issues COVID-19 Parcel Warning After Beijing Omicron Case

With both the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as Spring Festival on the horizon, Beijing’s strict COVID-19 prevention measures will not be lifted anytime soon.


[Cover image via Pixabay]

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