On July 6 at the regular COVID-19 press conference, Beijing authorities reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated. They also stated that from July 11 onwards, those visiting places with large gatherings of people would have to show their vaccination record.
So, are places in the capital really checking vaccination records?
According to Xinhua, those visiting universities for senior citizens, indoor activity areas for the elderly and indoor fitness and leisure facilities for the elderly should get vaccinated “as soon as possible.” But of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you must get jabbed to enter any of those places.
Meanwhile, those who enter the following areas listed below “must” be vaccinated:
Those who can prove a legitimate vaccine exemption will be granted entry.
Other places which are not listed above but require booking will "give priority" to those who are vaccinated – implying that non-vaccinated people can still enter but won’t have priority?
However, regardless of your reading of the "rules," it seems that for now, entry into most places in the capital doesn’t require you to show proof of vaccination.
We called a Sanlitun gym who told us they have no specific rule about showing your vaccination status; a movie theatre who was confused by our asking about vaccine rules; and the 798 Art District who said vaccination is not a requirement for entry.
Two That’s employees said the gym they regularly visit in the Beijing CBD also doesn’t require to see vaccination status.
On the WeChat Official Account of the National Museum of China, it states nothing about vaccination requirements.
We recently rode the subway, and visited parks and malls without anyone requesting to see our vaccine records.
Why is this so?
It seems authorities responded to some residents’ concerns regarding vaccine rules becoming a little too strict. Beijing Daily quoted an official who said that as long as residents had a negative nucleic acid test result from within 72 hours and a green Beijing Health Kit (北京健康宝), as well as temperature check upon entry, they would be able to enter “all sorts of public areas.” These are the rules for entering most places in Beijing.
The document released by the State Council which included the vaccine requirements stressed that everyone over the age of 3 years old should get vaccinated, unless legitimate exemptions apply. However, it also stated that vaccines should be taken on the principle of informed and voluntary consent.
So, the short answer to the question in the title is this: it’s pretty difficult to find places in Beijing that are actually checking vaccination records.
For now, most places still require a negative test result from within 72 hours, a green Beijing Health Kit and a normal temperature. You likely won’t be getting your vaccination records checked anytime soon, but don’t let that be a reason not to get jabbed.
[Cover image via Pixabay]