In late December, Beijing went into “emergency response mode” after a sudden spike in COVID-19 infections. Travel restrictions to Beijing have tightened and restrictions have been also increased in the city with regard to temperature checks, wearing face masks, and health declarations, for example.
The surrounding province of Hebei, which is also under CCP virus restrictions, has placed increased control on the highways connecting its capital city of Shijiazhuang with Beijing. Highway police are urging people traveling to Beijing to head back. Railway services have also been halted.
In Beijing, the local government has barred tourist agencies from conducting group tours or offering flight and hotel packages.
“Whoever organizes tours will be responsible for managing and implementing the epidemic control rules. Travel agencies need to control the size of group tours leaving and entering Beijing, carry out risk assessment and draft all emergency response protocols,” Zhou told South China Morning Post.
All 155 religious sites in Beijing are currently shut down. Group gatherings are limited to 20 people outdoors and 10 people indoors. In the outskirts of Beijing, the rural villages of Shunyi District are under lockdown. More than 500,000 residents are now trapped in their villages until the government’s mass COVID-19 testing is completed.
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According to one official, the villages are under “closed management;” people are prohibited from leaving their residential compounds. They are allowed to leave their homes once confirmed to be free of the CCP virus. Outside the villages, special spots have been designated where couriers can pick up and drop off packages.
Local community workers collect these packages and disinfect them before delivering them to the residents. Each village now operates with just one entrance. Authorities record all migrants in the district.
Beijing is essentially under ‘wartime’ mode
A government spokesperson from the city said that cluster outbreaks are happening all across the country. One source from the city, who is close to the CCP’s elite class, told The Epoch Times that if any person has contracted the virus, the entire place is locked down.
The undisclosed source presently lives in a military compound and stated that far stronger restrictions have been implemented for people looking to travel long distances. Her helper, who had applied to leave Beijing almost a month ago, is still waiting for approval.
“These days, you need a special pass to enter and exit the compound. Only direct relatives are allowed to enter to visit parents, and they have to go through temperature checks, scan their health codes, and provide their personal details… It’s troublesome enough if you want to leave Beijing right now, but even more so if you want to get back to Beijing,” she told The Epoch Times.
The CCP has asked people not to travel during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday on Feb. 12. Millions of people typically travel across China to return home and spend time with their families. In some cities, the local governments have asked people to get approval from their employer prior to traveling for the holidays.
Authorities will vaccinate at least 50 million people in the high-risk category before the Lunar New Year festival. The Chinese government is reporting around 100 new cases daily, which is the highest number since July.
However, the official data cannot be confirmed since the government has been suppressing free flow of information about the scope of the pandemic since it began. The actual number of infections might be much higher.