New Rule For Entering Beijing as Omicron Variant Hits Capital

By Alistair Baker-Brian, January 17, 2022

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Authorities have introduced an additional rule for entering Beijing following the city’s first confirmed locally transmitted case of the COVID-19 omicron variant. 

Those entering or returning to Beijing from elsewhere on the Chinese mainland must undergo a nucleic acid test within 72 hours of arriving in the capital. 

Those traveling from certain areas surrounding the Beijing municipality may be exempt from the rule. Be sure to double check before you travel. 

The rule is in addition to the requirement that travelers have proof of a negative nucleic acid test result issued within 48 hours of departure to the capital, as well as a green Beijing Health Kit (北京健康宝). 

I suppose we could call it the ‘48 + 72’ rule. 

The rule will be in place from January 22 until the end of March. Failure to undergo a nucleic acid test within the required time period may impact upon an individual’s Beijing Health Kit, as reported by Beijing Daily.

The new rule comes following Beijing’s first locally transmitted case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 which was confirmed on January 15.

Details of the infected individual were given at the 266th COVID-19 Press Conference by the Information Office of the Beijing Municipality. 

The individual resides in the city’s Haidian district, and had no travel history outside of Beijing 14 days before testing positive. 

The individual had recently travelled to a number of restaurants, shopping centers and elsewhere in Haidian, Changping, Xicheng and Chaoyang districts. 

In response to the COVID-19 situation, Yonghegong Lama Temple announced that it would close to the public from January 17 until further notice. 

China is currently battling local outbreaks of COVID-19 in a number of places. The Chinese mainland has 20 high-risk areas and 67 mid-risk areas, as of press time. 

As well as in Beijing, locally transmitted cases of the omicron variant have been detected in Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Dalian and Anyang. 

Beijing residents have been advised not to leave the city unless absolutely necessary.

Rules related to COVID-19 in the capital are not going to be eased anytime soon, especially with the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics due to start on February 4. 

READ MORE: 'Work From Home During Winter Olympics' - Beijing Authorities

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[Cover image via Pexels]

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