A couple of key changes to Beijing’s COVID rules were announced at the 379th Press Conference on COVID-19 Anti-Epidemic Control by the Beijing Information Office, including a key announcement on vaccine requirements for entering certain places in the city.
So, without further ado, here are the key changes.
From July 11 onwards, anyone in Beijing entering places which attract large gatherings of people must show proof of vaccination, except for those with legitimate vaccination exemptions.
Venues include, but are not necessarily limited to, training centers, activity areas for the elderly, libraries, museums, movie theaters, art galleries, cultural centers, sport centers, gyms, performance areas, internet cafes, etc.
Although not explicitly stated, it is likely that basic immunization, i.e. two doses of either Sinovac or Sinopharm, is required. If you're unsure about whether or not entry into a venue requires a third booster shot, be sure to check in advance.
You can show your vaccination status on your Beijing Health Kit (北京健康宝) as shown below.
All screengrabs via That's/Alistair Baker-Brian
If you think this spells an end for regular nucleic acid testing, think again. The Beijing CDC made clear that vaccines, health code scanning, nucleic acid testing and mask wearing will all remain key parts of the anti-epidemic effort (sorry to disappoint).
Entering Beijing from Elsewhere on the Chinese Mainland
Previously, those with 14-day travel history to areas with one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 were “heavily restricted” in returning to Beijing.
Now, only those with 7-day travel history to areas with one or more cases will be “heavily restricted” in returning to Beijing. In other words, if you visited an area with one or more cases eight days or more before, you are not “heavily restricted” in returning to Beijing.
Those returning from areas which include international land borders will also not face restrictions in returning to the capital, unless otherwise stated at the time.
You may still face restrictions in returning to Beijing from mid- or high-risk areas.
Testing rules for those returning to Beijing remain the same; you need a negative test result issued within 48 hours of departure from your destination and another negative test result from within 72 hours of your arrival in Beijing.
According to Xinhua, Beijing will resume international commercial flights “in batches and in an orderly way.” No other details are given, so… let’s not get our hopes up.
The Beijing CDC urged the city’s residents to get vaccinated ASAP. They quoted data from Hong Kong’s most recent outbreak of COVID-19; the data showed that from December, 2021 until July 2022, 95% of deaths from COVID-19 have been those aged 60 years old and above, 72% of which had not been vaccinated. Moreover, among those with three vaccine doses, the death rate from COVID-19 was 0.04%, and among those with no vaccination was 3.02%.
So, from July 11 onwards, being asked to show your vaccination status will likely become a regular occurrence. If you haven’t done so already, get your shots.
[Cover image via Weibo/@中国电影报道]