The Chinese capital will lower its health emergency response to the novel coronavirus epidemic from the top level, which had been activated on January 24, down to the second level starting April 30, a local official announced this past Wednesday.
The decision was made after the city had seen no new confirmed local or imported COVID-19 cases for 13 consecutive days.
Once the response level is officially downgraded, people from low-risk regions of China will no longer need to be quarantined for 14 days at home upon arriving in Beijing. Those who are currently undergoing concentrated or at-home observation will not be required to continue any further.
However, strict management of inbound travelers from high- and medium-risk areas such as Hubei, the province once hardest hit by the virus, will continue.
Couriers, deliverymen, housekeepers and real estate agents will be allowed to enter residential communities if their health codes are green.
Rong Jun, a spokesperson for the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, explained that the maximum capacity of passengers on buses will be raised from 50 percent to 75 percent, and up to 65 percent on subway trains.
Bus services between Beijing and some areas in the neighboring Hebei Province will gradually resume operations, as well as inter-provincial, long-distance, and chartered bus services.
Buses and subway carriages need to be disinfected and ventilated regularly, Rong Jun added, and all commuters are required to wear masks and have their temperatures taken.
"Despite these adjustments, the prevention and control measures in Beijing remain the strictest," Rong said. Now is not the time to let our guards down.
Editor: Crystal H