August 8, 2022

Beijing backs plans to tighten Covid vaccination requirements

The city of Beijing scaled back plans to require Covid vaccinations to enter some public spaces, and maintained that a negative virus test is sufficient. A virus testing site in Beijing, China is pictured here on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Good pictures

BEIJING – China’s first large-scale effort to require Covid vaccines appears to have ended before it began.

Wednesday, the capital As of Monday, Beijing has announced that most people will be vaccinated Before entering public gathering places such as gyms.

On Thursday, the city removed reference to the ordinance, according to State-run local newspaper, Beijing Daily.

The report quoted a member of the city’s Office of Virus Prevention and Control, who emphasized the current rules — a negative virus test within the past 72 hours — for entering public spaces. But the statement made no mention of the need for vaccination, with the government representative encouraging people to get vaccinated voluntarily.

When contacted by CNBC, a representative of the Beijing city government confirmed the Beijing Daily report. The capital reported zero new cases of Covid with or without symptoms on Thursday.

The state-run newspaper said it contacted the government office after the vaccination order created “anxiety and distrust” among city residents, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese text.

The Beijing Daily’s initial report attracted many comments on WeChat on Wednesday.

The most popular comments asked how someone could prove they are not “suitable” for Covid vaccines – particularly for the elderly or pregnant in critical situations. Others asked for clarification on which public places are classified as “places of social gathering”, including train stations. Still others cited difficulties in integrating vaccination records from Hong Kong or overseas into Beijing’s health code system.

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