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Beijing city walks back plan to tighten Covid vaccine requirements

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Beijing city toned down a plan to require Covid vaccinations to enter some public venues, and maintained that a negative virus test was sufficient. Pictured here’s a virus testing site in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s first large-scale try to require Covid vaccinations appears to have ended before it began.

On Wednesday, the capital city of Beijing announced that starting Monday, most individuals would have to be vaccinated before entering social gathering spots like gyms.

On Thursday, town removed mention of the mandate, in keeping with the state-run local newspaper, Beijing Day by day.

The report cited a member of town’s virus prevention and control office, who emphasized current rules — a negative virus test from throughout the last 72 hours — for entering public venues. However the report didn’t mention the vaccination requirement, only saying the federal government representative encouraged people to get vaccinated voluntarily.

When contacted by CNBC, a representative for the Beijing city government confirmed the Beijing Day by day report. The capital city reported zero latest Covid cases for Thursday, with or without symptoms.

The state-run newspaper said it contacted the federal government office after the vaccination mandate generated “attention and misgivings” amongst city residents, in keeping with a CNBC translation of the Chinese text.

Beijing Day by day’s initial report Wednesday drew many comments on WeChat.

The preferred comments asked how someone would prove they weren’t “suitable” for Covid vaccinations — especially in complex situations for elderly or pregnant people. Others asked for clarification on which public spaces are classified as “social gathering spots” and whether that features train stations. Still others noted problems in not with the ability to integrate vaccination records from Hong Kong or foreign countries into Beijing city’s health code system.

In China, generally only Chinese-made vaccines by Sinopharm or Sinovac can be found to the general public.

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