Health · July 7, 2022

The city of Beijing requires Covid vaccinations for some public venues

Chinese cities like Beijing, pictured here on July 6, 2022, require negative virus tests within the past 72 hours to enter most public spaces.

Kevin Frayer | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

BEIJING – China’s capital is expected to require Covid vaccinations for entry into gyms and some other venues, the first mandate of this magnitude in the country.

The vaccination requirement comes after a resurgence of new cases in Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China over the past week.

The city of Beijing announced on Wednesday that starting Monday, most people will need to be vaccinated before entering personal training centers, sports centers, entertainment venues and other social gathering places.

The city said the requirement didn’t apply to people for whom vaccinations weren’t “suitable,” but said vaccinated people would be given priority when entering the aforementioned venues. Many rooms are operating at a reduced capacity due to Covid restrictions.

In general, only Sinopharm or Sinovac Chinese-made vaccines are available to the public in China.

Beijing has a relatively high vaccination rate. The city said Wednesday it had vaccinated 23.4 million people, including 3.6 million over the age of 60. The capital said it had nearly 22 million long-term residents as of 2020.

Government events in Beijing have already required attendees to be vaccinated against Covid, while some industries such as taxi services have also recommended or mandated vaccinations.

About two months ago, Beijing began requiring people to take virus tests before entering public spaces.

Similar rules have come into effect in Shanghai and other parts of China, while at least one or two cities have attempted to halt regular virus testing after the number of local cases dropped. Analysts have noted the high cost of Covid testing and other measures for local governments.

Mainland China reported 94 new Covid cases with symptoms as of Wednesday, including 32 in Shanghai and 4 in Beijing.

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Other cities have also tightened Covid controls in recent days.

The central Chinese city of Xi’an on Tuesday announced a week-long closure of entertainment and leisure venues and a ban on in-person dining at restaurants.

The city of Shanghai announced two rounds of mass virus testing Tuesday through Thursday and the temporary closure of karaoke venues from Wednesday.