Beijing tells residents to stay put for holidays

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing has urged residents not to leave the city during the Lunar New Year holiday in February, implementing new restrictions after several coronavirus infections last week.

Two domestic cases were reported on Friday, a convenience store worker and a Hewlett Packard Enterprise employee. Another two asymptomatic cases were discovered in Beijing earlier in the week.

Beijing is conducting testing on a limited scale in the neighbourhoods and workplaces where the cases were found. To contain any new outbreaks, the Beijing government cancelled big gatherings such as sports events and temple fairs. It said applications will be strictly reviewed for any major events. Venues such as cinemas, libraries and museums have to operate at 75 per cent capacity, the government said.

It also called on companies not to arrange business trips outside the city and abroad.

Lunar New Year is February 12.

Separately, officials in the northeastern port city of Dalian said on Friday that they had tested over 4.75 million people for the coronavirus after 24 confirmed infections this month.

Visitors pose for a selfie outside the Wangfujing Church in Beijing. PHOTO: AP