China announced new regulations ahead of Spring Festival travel rush

Amid daily new COVID-19 cases, China on 27th January announced stringent measures for entry and return to capital Beijing during the 40 days long Spring Festival travel rush period also known as Chunyun, starting on 28th January until 8th March. Beijing local govt said that during the Chunyun period, personnel from high-risk areas in the country are not allowed to enter the city. 

Those who really need to enter Beijing must be approved by the local provincial epidemic prevention and control department, and hold the nucleic acid test negative certificate within 72 hours. Those from low-risk areas in China also must hold the nucleic acid test negative certificate within 7 days before arriving in Beijing, and carry out health monitoring for 14 days after arriving in Beijing.

International travelers entering China at other domestic ports can enter Beijing only after 21 days, and follow additional health monitoring after entering Beijing. As per reports, China has also decided to strictly control the transit of international passengers from third countries to enter Beijing on direct international commercial passenger flights. For passengers who plan to take direct flights to Beijing, the relevant embassies and consulates abroad will strictly review the residence history of the applicants before boarding, and those who do not meet the requirements will not be issued the international version of health code or health statement.

Airlines should remind and dissuade the third country personnel to transit into Beijing in the links of ticket sales and check-in, and do not allow the transit personnel to check in or board the plane. All passengers are required to fill in the ‘letter of commitment for taking a flight to Beijing’ before boarding, and will bear the relevant legal responsibility for concealing information such as residence history and health status.Beijing local govt said that measures were taken to restrict the flow of people in the capital city looking at the special needs of maintaining the security of the capital as it may shoot up the risk of COVID-19 cases due to severe and complex situations of the epidemic at home and abroad.

Chinese authorities have been stressing on the severe anti-virus situation partly caused by imported cases. The Spring Festival travel rush is considered the most spectacular annual human migration on Earth, the 40-day period when Chinese head home to celebrate the Spring Festival. This year’s festival falls on February 12. With recent new outbreaks of COVID-19 in China, officials have warned of the danger of travelling. Acting super cautious, the Chinese government has urged its people to stay put for the Spring Festival but the policy is mandatory for people from high and medium-risk regions, Cadres of Party and government organs have been asked to not go out of Beijing unless they have to. 

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