Beijing lowers COVID-19 emergency response posture to third level
Beijing will lower its emergency response to the novel coronavirus epidemic from the second level to the third level starting from Saturday, a local official announced on Friday.
The third emergency response level is the second-lowest.
Prevention and control measures will be adjusted accordingly, said Chen Bei, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing municipal government, at a press conference.
Beijing will lift purchasing restrictions on plane and train tickets for people from the central province of Hubei, including those from the provincial capital Wuhan, except for people from medium- and high-risk areas. Beijing will no longer require permits for those entering the capital city from Hubei via highways.
People from Hubei Province, including those from Wuhan, will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days or go through collective observation after arriving in Beijing. Also, people from those areas currently under quarantine or observation in Beijing can be discharged, according to Chen.
People entering Beijing from Wuhan will not need another nucleic acid test as long as they have a test result proving their negative status. However, nucleic acid tests will still be required if they cannot provide such proof.
Residential compounds will no longer need to take people's temperatures, although registration is still needed, Chen said.
Companies that provide daily necessities and services can resume production under complete control and prevention measures.
Meanwhile, in the tourism sector, Beijing will allow domestic group tours under proper conditions, except those from medium- and high-risk areas. Inbound and outbound group tours will remain suspended.
Parks, tourist sites and public indoor venues can allow more visitors under strict prevention-and-control measures. Some events, such as conferences, exhibitions, sports matches and entertainment shows, can also be held under strict prevention-and-control measures, according to the municipal government.
Schools can resume classes in an orderly manner and masks will not be required for outdoor activities.
The city will also allow people from other areas to visit hospitals in Beijing in an orderly and restricted manner, except those from medium- and high-risk areas.
The Chinese capital lowered its emergency response to COVID-19 from the top level to level two on April 30. Beijing has seen no abnormal rebound in infections since then, said Chen Bei.
"By Thursday, Beijing's 14 districts saw no new locally transmitted cases for more than 90 consecutive days, while the districts of Haidian and Chaoyang reported no new locally transmitted cases for 73 and 50 consecutive days respectively," Chen said.
Meanwhile, population flows did not bring new infections or a rebound during the May Day holiday and the convening of the annual "two sessions," or as schools reopened in Beijing, Chen added.
"The results of domestic prevention and control measures have been solid and local transmission has been basically cut off," Chen said. "People's prevention awareness has been enhanced and risks of imported cases are under control."
Based on these national and Beijing conditions, the capital city lowered its emergency response, Chen said.