Beijing city mandates COVID vaccinations, relaxes curbs on domestic travellers
Beijing said on Wednesday people eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations will have to take the shot before they enter crowded venues, in the Chinese capital's first such mandate for the general public as it faces new sporadic cases.
From July 11, people wishing to enter venues such as libraries, cinemas and gyms would need to be vaccinated unless they have issues that render them unsuitable for the product, a city official told a news briefing.
China has already required higher risk employees, such as those working in public transport sector and cold-chain industry, to be vaccinated, and Beijing city had fully inoculated 97.7 percent of its adult residents as of last September.
Still, the city is urging residents to get booster shots and is trying to persuade the elderly, a group with lower vaccination rate than younger adults, to be jabbed.
As of April 17, 80.6 percent of those aged 60 and above in Beijing had received their first dose.
Elderly who visit certain venues offering activities specifically for senior citizens should be vaccinated as soon as possible, said city health official Li Ang.
Beijing city reported three new local COVID cases on Wednesday as of 3 pm, all of whom the were already isolated for medical observation.
The city also finetuned its stringent rules on domestic travel. It would now "strictly restrict" entry by people who, within seven days, have travelled in towns that have recently reported one local infection or more, compared with 14 days earlier.
It also said on Wednesday restrictions on entry by travellers from domestic areas near China's international borders will be scrapped.
Direct international flights entering the city will be resumed in an orderly way, the city said, without giving a timeline.