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Travel curbs and testing encouraged to control Beijing outbreak

By Yang Wanli | | Updated: 2020-06-18 11:36
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Residents line up to receive nucleic acid tests at a designated spot in Fengtai on Monday. [PHOTO BY FU DING/FOR CHINADAILY]

Travel restrictions and expanded nucleic acid testing have been encouraged in Beijing to contain the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, local officials said on Thursday.

Security inspection stations have been set up on the city's highway toll booths, giving departure permission only to those travelers with a negative nucleic acid test report, according to Pan Xuhong, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

Confirmed cases, suspected cases, close contacts and those infections with no symptoms will be limited to buying airline or train tickets, he said at a news conference on Thursday morning.

At the conference, another official from the city's leading group for epidemic prevention and control also revealed that strict control methods have been implemented.

Three groups of people are not allowed to leave Beijing: the confirmed, suspected cases, close contacts and infections with no symptoms; people who had visited Xinfadi Market since May 30; and those who are living in high- or medium-risk areas.

Apart from a 14-day medical observation, close contacts in Beijing are required to take two nucleic acid tests for the coronavirus, said Zhang Ge, deputy director of the group's branch team responsible for the work in the city's residential areas.

Moreover, all hotels in the city will no longer accept guests who have traveled to high- or medium-risk regions outside Beijing within the past 14 days. For travelers from Wuhan, Hubei province, a negative nucleic acid test report will be required.

All public entertainment places in Beijing's residential areas have been closed, according to Zhang.

In the city's high-risk areas, he said all public places, including schools, office buildings, hotels and restaurants, have also been shuttered.

"It is a crucial period for prevention and control work in Beijing. We don't encourage any unnecessary travel from Beijing to other places. If in need, travelers should carry a nucleic acid test report with a negative result," Zhang said.

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