Covid19: Beijing tightens entry requirements as the Winter Games approach

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Beginning November 17, Beijing will require all individuals entering the capital to provide a negative nucleic acid test result obtained within 48 hours and a green health code, in response to recent COVID19 flare-ups that have spread to 21 provincial-level regions, or two-thirds of the country, according to local authorities at a Saturday press conference.

The new rules are intended to reduce risk during the latest round of coronavirus resurgence across the country. On Saturday, the capital confirmed one local COVID-19 case, with 47 cases reported nationwide.

Beginning November 17, the capital also suspended entry for visitors who had visited areas where more than one local confirmed case had been reported within 14 days, according to officials. Temperature checks are required in all public places and transportation hubs.

As the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics approach, Beijing officials have emphasized the strict epidemic prevention and control measures that will be required to ensure the Games can be held safely and on time from February 4 to February 20, 2022.

One official stressed at the press conference that we must seize the initiative in epidemic prevention and control and never give up until the epidemic is completely contained.

In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, mass nucleic acid testing should be performed within two days in cities with fewer than five million people, and within three days in cities with more than five million people, according to the National Health Commission on Saturday.

As part of new measures, city officials in the capital ordered the cancellation of all unnecessary meetings. During the meetings, closed-loop management is required, and attendees are not permitted to leave designated zones.

After 111 employees attended meetings in Beijing sharing a conference room with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) requested this week that its Beijing-based units conduct nucleic acid testing for all employees.

As of Thursday, four employees had tested positive, one of whom was connected to the four infections among a family in Beijing’s Haidian district. The Beijing subsidiary of CNPC has declared a state of emergency.