Beijing implements new COVID-19 vaccine mandate as China grapples with new outbreaks there and in Shanghai

Beijing – China’s two largest cities, the capital Beijing and Shanghai, have been relieved of the draconian for almost a month. COVID-19 Restrictions, including complete and partial lockdown, came after the authorities declared victory over the virus. But as of Thursday, both megacities were once again racing to contain outbreaks fueled by the highly permeable Omicron subvariant of the virus.

The capital reported a cluster of BA.5.2 subvariant cases, which officials said began among employees at a boutique hotel near Beijing’s world-famous Great Wall area. Till Thursday, only about a dozen infections were confirmed, but the local government was not taking any chances.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Beijing has required all residents entering large public spaces, including museums, theaters and gyms, to show proof of vaccination, according to a city health commission official. Senior citizens will also now have to show proof of vaccination to enter community facilities.

China enforces strict COVID protocols in Beijing


The new vaccine mandate comes on top of existing policies that Everyone needs to show a negative COVID test Results within the last 72 hours for entering any public place. That ban effectively forces the entire local population of the capital to undergo PCR tests every three days.

Keeping a lid on the highly contagious subvariant is a priority for China’s ruling Communist Party as it seeks to avoid any disruption to the once-a-decade power transition, which is scheduled for this fall in Beijing, although an exact date has been announced. Not done yet.

Meanwhile, in the financial capital Shanghai, 32 positive cases linked to karaoke bars in the city’s Putuo district have been reported. In response, city officials closed all karaoke bars in Shanghai – and there are many more – from Wednesday.

Shanghai has also intensified its large-scale testing regime. Residents of 12 of the city’s 16 districts were asked to undergo two PCR tests over a period of three days ending Thursday.

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