China is introducing their first-ever vaccine mandate, to protect Beijing from a new COVID-19 outbreak!
Here is what you need to know…
China Introduces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Beijing!
From Monday, July 11, 2022 onwards, Beijing residents will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination at these public locations :
- Live performances
- Entertainment venues like movie theatres, museums, art galleries, cultural centres
- Gyms and training facilities, stadiums and other sports venues
- Libraries and tutoring centres
- Internet cafes
This vaccine mandate will apply to everyone, including medical staff, people working in community service operations, home furnishing operators, express delivery providers, and people attending conferences.
Beijing residents will also need to receive a booster dose, although exemptions will be available for people who don’t qualify for vaccination.
Beijing Municipal Health Commission deputy director Li Ang called for elderly people living in care homes, and people who plan to enter an entertainment venue, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
He also said that care home staff and visitors, as well as tourists, should get the booster dose; and that Beijing’s health code system will be updated to show everyone’s vaccination status more prominently.
Despite the vaccine mandate, Beijing residents are still required to get tested at least every three days to enter all public venues.
It is unknown how people who received their COVID-19 vaccinations overseas can meet this requirement since the Chinese health code system does not even recognise foreign vaccines. In fact, people who were vaccinated overseas have not been able to get their vaccinations registered.
Why China Is Introducing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Beijing
China is implementing its first-ever vaccine mandate in Beijing to tamp down a new outbreak of the more infectious BA.5.2 Omicron subvariant.
On Wednesday, July 6, Beijing CDC announced 12 new cases caused by the Omicron BA.5.2 subvariant, based on gene sequencing tests. They were from four different districts, including Yanqing and Changping in Beijing.
These cases were traced back to previously quarantined patients, although one case reported a day earlier was picked up through community testing. This suggests that community spread is still limited.
This new BA.5.2 Omicron outbreak started on July 4, apparently caused by people returning to Beijing after completing their entry quarantine period.
Chinese authorities appear to be implementing this vaccine mandate in hopes of avoiding a lockdown that had already shut down the northwestern city of Xi’an until at least next Wednesday, July 13.
As of January 2022, some 98% of Beijing’s 20 odd million residents have been fully vaccinated, including 12 million who received a booster dose. However, only 80% of Beijing’s senior citizens (60 years and older) have been vaccinated, as late as April.
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