Beijing to require Covid vaccinations in some public places

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

Kevin Fryer | News Getty Images | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s capital will require Covid vaccinations to enter gyms and some other venues, the first of its kind in the country.

The need for a vaccine arises after rebirth in new cases in Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China over the past week.

On Wednesday, the city of Beijing announced that starting Monday, most people will need to be vaccinated before entering training centers, sports centers, entertainment centers and other public places.

The city said the requirement does not apply to people who are “not eligible” to be vaccinated, but added that vaccinated people will have priority entering the above locations. Many facilities are operating at a reduced capacity due to Covid restrictions.

As a rule, only vaccines made in China by Sinopharm or Sinovac are available to the public in China.

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

Government events in Beijing already require attendees to be vaccinated against Covid, while some industries such as taxi services also encourage or require vaccinations.

About two months ago, Beijing began requiring people to take virus tests before going into public places.

Similar rules went into effect in Shanghai and other parts of China, while at least one or two cities attempted to end routine testing for the virus after local cases dropped. Analysts note the high cost of Covid tests and other measures for local governments.

Mainland China reported 94 new symptomatic Covid cases on Wednesday, including 32 in Shanghai and 4 in Beijing.

Learn more about China from CNBC Pro

Over the past few days, other cities have also tightened their Covid control measures.

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

The city of Shanghai announced two rounds of mass testing for the virus from Tuesday to Thursday and temporarily closed karaoke rooms from Wednesday.