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Beijing says it is restricting movement of only high-risk people

By Li Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-06-18 14:21
Residents walk out of a subway station in Beijing, on June 16, 2020. [Photo by Wei Xiaohao/chinadaily.com.cn]

Beijing is not under lockdown as it strengthens the management of people with high risks of being infected by COVID-19, a municipal government official said on Thursday.

Pan Xuhong, deputy director and spokesman of Beijing Public Security Bureau, said that strengthening the management of risky groups by banning them from leaving the city doesn't mean there's a lockdown.

The travel ban mainly targets three types of people, he said.

First are confirmed cases, suspected cases and their close contacts, asymptomatic patients and people with fever. The second group comprises of people who have travel to the Xinfadi wholesale food market in southern Beijing – where most new cases were traced back to – or had close contact with market workers since May 30. The third group are residents living in areas designated as medium- and high-risk areas.

He said civil aviation and railway authorities would temporarily bar them from purchasing tickets, and only travelers with negative nucleic acid test results would be allowed to leave after a temperature check.

Passengers who have bought air and train tickets to and from Beijing before Wednesday can apply for postponement and refund free of charge, and security checkpoints would be installed at highways to check the health status of people departing the city, he said.

Pan said taxis, car-hailing services and free rides out of Beijing would be suspended, alongside inter-provincial long-distance passenger line and chartered buses out of Beijing.

Beijing will strengthen information communication with other cities, to ensure the risky groups can be traced and controlled, he added.

Zhang Ge, deputy head of the community prevention and control group of the Beijing's epidemic control efforts, said they would strengthen the closed management of neighborhoods.

Check points at the community entrance would be restored, he said, adding that community workers would carry out 24-hour patrol and strictly register and check temperatures and health codes of returnees.

Zhang, also the deputy head of the organization department of the municipal Party committee, said people from low-risk streets and towns can be allowed into the community compound with health codes. They include life service personnel such as express and food deliverymen, housekeeping and inner decoration workers, and real estate agents.

But those from high - and medium-risk streets and towns are not allowed to enter, he added.

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