Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been using this blog as a catch-all for information on the situation in Beijing. Throughout the week, we will be updating this blog daily to give you up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases in Beijing and China and other Beijing-centric news we find. For our full coverage of the COVID-19 crisis in Beijing, see our story archive here. Our sources of the infection numbers at the bottom of this post are the Beijing Municipal Health Commission (for local case numbers) and the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China (for national case numbers).

Word on the Street

Aug 3 – today

  • (8/5 8.34am) One More Imported Case Reported After Five Days of Zero Cases: Alas, an imported case has been confirmed in today’s daily report from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. The only detail released so far about this case is that the person is a family member of the Indonesian national who tested positive last Jul 27.

Jul 27 – Aug 2

  • (8/2 4.08pm) Latest Flight Schedules To/From China: Trying to find out which flights are currently operating to/from China? Here’s your most updated list as of Aug 1 courtesy of our friends at 好大一口锅.
  • (8/1 9.24am) Patients Under Treatment Drops to Single Digit: Let us all take a moment and be thankful that in today’s report from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, only 9 patients remain in treatment in hospitals. We are one with the community in aiming for Beijing be coronavirus-free.
  • (7/29 8.52am) A Deja Vu That We Want to Stop Right Now: As if Beijing is experiencing deja vu, today’s daily report includes another confirmed case that is related to the outbreak in Liaoning province, according to the daily report from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission.
  • (7/28 8.58pm) Confirmed Cases From Yesterday Were an Indonesian National and an Anhui Native: More details were announced by the Beijing Municipal Health Commission about the two confirmed coronavirus cases from yesterday – one was a 63-yr-old Indonesian man who flew in from Jakarta via Hong Kong and a 53-yr-old Anhui woman who lives in Jinzhou in Liaoning visiting her daughter in Beijing. Other details available in the report here.
  • (7/28 7.33pm) Beijing’s Tiantonyuan Community Gets Locked Down; Residents Tested For COVID-19: To ensure that no spread has happened or will happen, Tiantongyuan West No. 3 community, where the confirmed local case from yesterday lives, has been put on lockdown (aka increased to level 2 risk status) with all residents in the building where the confirmed case lives being barred from going out of the building for any reason, according to a report from the Global Times.
  • (7/28 8.31am) Beijing’s Zero Cases Streak Once Again Broken: After having no reported cases for 21 days, Beijing has once again recorded new infections in the city – an imported case and a local case that is connected to the recent outbreak in Dalian. Thankfully, there are no new asymptomatic cases and 14 more patients were discharged from the hospital, according to the daily report from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission.
  • (7/28 7.56am) South Korea Becomes First Country to be Allowed Easy Visa Issuances: Some great news this early morning as The Dong-A Ilbo, a South Korean news portal, reports that China has agreed to start issuing visas to qualified South Koreans who hold valid certificates but are stuck outside China due to the border closure.

Jul 20 – 26

  • (7/26 4.54pm) Long-Distance Bus Terminal in Xinfadi Market Now Open: With citywide public transportation now operating as normal, Beijing has also just announced that the Xinfadi terminal for long-distance buses is now once again open for business. Check out the photo report of Xinhua here.
  • (7/26 8.37am) Beijing Buses and Subway Now Back to Normal Operations: In more news of returning to normalcy, Beijing’s public transport system are now back to full capacity, as reported today by Xinhua via
  • (7/24 8.30am) Sanlitun Bars Reopen After a Month of Closure: Following almost a month of closure – and even longer for others – Sanlitun-centric Chaoyang bars have finally been given the go-ahead to reopen just in time for the weekend. Reopenings follow Beijing’s downgrading to risk level three status and include various bars in Nali Patio and Courtyard 4 and as far out on Dongzhimen Waidajie, the Liangma River, and Maizidian. Read more in our weekly Booze News.
  • (7/23 11.30am) Chaoyang Theater Temporarily Closes Due to COVID-19: A TikTok video posted earlier this week showed a banner at the entrance of the Chaoyang Theater bearing the words “Chaoyang Theater Fresh Produce Services Center.” However, we can confirm that the theater will not be shut down permanently. Read more in our weekly blog Trending in Beijing.
  • (7/22 3.30pm) Cinemas, KTVs, Gyms and More Get the Green Light to Open in Beijing: The good news just keeps coming! As officials have reduced the city’s risk status to level three, more entertainment venues are starting to open up and welcome their first wave of guests after months-long closures. According to Beijing Daily, however, Beijing’s plans to reopen these indoor spaces come with a laundry list of epidemic prevention measures. Read more details in our story here.
  • (7/21 8.41pm) Sports Venues and Activities Now Allowed: With the lowering of Beijing’s health emergency response last Monday, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports has announced that venues and activities can once again be permitted, albeit with some restrictions, as reported by CGTN.
  • (7/21 4.11pm) China’s New Requirements for Incoming International Passengers: The Civial Aviation Administration of China announced yesterday some new policies affecting arriving international passengers. Two most notable ones are the need for a negative nucleic acid test taken within 5 days prior to a flight and foreigners needing a health certificate from the Chinese embassy/consulate where they are. Read more details in the official announcement here.
  • (7/20 4.55pm) Beijing Risk Status Is Back to Level Three: Here’s What That Means: Beijing has surpassed the milestone of zero new cases for 14 days for the first time since the exposure to the novel coronavirus in the Xinfadi market caused a second COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, officials have reduced the city’s risk status to level three. But what does that mean exactly? Find out more here.
  • (7/20 10.03am) Finally, 14 Straight Days of Zero Infections! There it is — two weeks with ZERO infections. In addition, 16 more patients have come out of the hospital, according to the daily report form the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. But before we get too excited and let down our guard, remember that we had a 56-day streak of no new infections once already. Happy Monday!

Jul 13 – 19

  • (7/19 6.05pm) Beijing to be Downgraded to Level Three Effective Monday: As the second wave of outbreak has been controlled, starting Monday (tomorrow), the city will be downgraded to level three public health emergency response, according to the Global Times.
  • (7/17 5.23pm) Hainan Airlines Now Approved to Fly Twice Weekly to Canada and Belgium: According to BJ News, Hainan Airlines has been allowed by the Civial Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) to operate twice weekly flights to both their routes to Toronto (effective Jul 18) and Budapest (effective Jul 20). Note that if you’re flying INTO Beijing, your flight may be diverted into one of other 12 local airports. Read here for more details. For more flight updates, visit our flight center blog.
  • (7/17 8.30am) Update on the Sanlitun Bar Situation: While many Sanlitun bars remain closed – a hangover of the second wave of coronavirus cases Beijing witnessed last month – it does appear that bars should be able to reopen by Monday, Jul 20. Of course, there are various stipulations the authorities are demanding establishments meet before they welcome back guests. Read more details in our weekly column Booze News.
  • (7/17 8.14am) Travel Search Balloons by 500%: As soon as the government announced that domestic group tours are open, travel site revealed that their data showed a travel search spike of 500%, according to Global Times via
  • (7/16 5.31pm) First Group of International Teachers Allowed to Return to Beijing: Keystone Academy, one of Beijing’s leading international schools, issued an announcement through the school’s website, stating: “Following a three-month effort, the Keystone Office of Government Relations and the administrative team announce that the school’s application for the visas of the first group of 14 foreign faculty, including some academic leaders and returning and new teachers, has been approved by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education and the Foreign Affairs Office of the Beijing Municipal Government. Keystone received this official notice on Friday, July 10.” Our sister publication beijingkids has more on this story.
  • (7/16 3.28pm) China Will Finally Reopen Cinemas This Month: Barring another outbreak, cinephiles in China may yet again find themselves in front of the big screen. The China Film Administration (CFA) announced via its website today that the country’s movie theaters could begin opening to the public as early as Jul 20, as long as they are located in low-risk areas. We discuss more in our blog here.
  • (7/15 4.37pm) Only 4 Remaining Medium-Risk Areas in Beijing: Another three areas of Beijing were reclassified as low-risk according to the announcement in today’s daily press conference. This leaves the city with only four areas considered as medium-risk, all in Fengtai. More details on the report from BJ News.
  • (7/14 10.11pm) France’s Tit-for-Tat: Chinese Carriers Now Only Allowed One Weekly Flight to Paris: France announced that effective Jul 13, Chinese airlines can only fly to Paris once a week. This is in return to what China has imposed on foreign airlines, including those from France. Reuters has more details on this story.
  • (7/13 3.42pm) All of Beijing No Longer High-Risk: Great news this afternoon from Xinhua (via as Huaxiang town, the last remaining high-risk area in Beijing, has been downgraded to medium-risk for having less than 10 local cases in the past 2 weeks.
  • (7/13 2.30pm) Beijing Apartment Rentals Still Suffering From COVID-19: CCTV Finance reported last week that rental rates across Beijing plunged by nearly 20 percent in June, with Daxing and Fengtai districts – the two epicenters of the city’s recent COVID-19 flare-up – experiencing the most precipitous drops in demand at 41.7 percent and 37.1 percent, respectively. Read more in our blog here.

Jul 6 – 12

  • (7/12 4.30pm) This Is What It’s Like to Get Tested for COVID-19 in Beijing: Getting tested for COVID-19 isn’t as bad as you think. In fact, the process at Chaoyang Hospital is an orderly affair with plenty of signage (albeit in Chinese) and on-site staff to guide you through the procedure. Read more details on the process here.
  • (7/11 8.24pm) Government Eases Travel Restrictions for Beijing After Fifth Consecutive Day of Zero New Cases: Any traveler coming from a low-risk area can freely enter and leave Beijing without the need of a swab test, as reported by the South China Morning Post. In addition, the city is expected to further lower the risk-level of Beijing allowing gyms and other indoor venues to once again reopen.
  • (7/10 5.13pm) Five Passengers on Beijing-Moscow Flight Test Positive, Suspending the Air China Route as Penalty: On a Jul 4 flight of a Beijing-bound Air China flight from Moscow had five passengers testing positive for COVID-19. Due to this, and in line with the “reward and suspension” policy issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of China on the resumption of international flights, this route will be suspended for a week, as reported by Xinhua.
  • (7/10 2.30pm) Risky Business: Checking the Risk Status of Your Hood: With four consecutive days of zero new cases reported and all but one high-risk area cleared, you might be wondering if you’re neighborhood is considered low- or medium-risk. Although the Beijing Health Kit mini-program has a foreigner-friendly English version, the process of checking the risk status of your area is a bit more challenging for non-Chinese readers. But don’t worry, we got you covered. Follow the instructions here and the mystery of the risk status of your area will soon be revealed.
  • (7/9 5pm) Updated Beijing Bar and Restaurant Opening Hours: In the wake of the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus, some bars and restaurants are temporarily closed or on limited hours. The situation is continually developing, so check back on this blog regularly for details of which venues are open or ring ahead before you set out.
  • (7/9 9.12am) Third ZERO Day Plus Record Recoveries in a Day: Yesterday marks the third day in a row where there were ZERO new infections in Beijing. To add icing to the cake, according to the daily report from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, 32 patients recovered yesterday which is a new record for the city. Prior to this, the highest ever recorded daily recoveries was at 23 last Feb 18. This now pushes the cleared case fatality rate in Beijing to 0.93% (961 recovered, 9 deaths).
  • (7/8 2.30pm) Travel Restrictions Eased For Some Beijing Residents: In this list obtained from the travel management committee which gathers information from the official government website and media reports of each province, those who are planning to travel from low-risk areas are suggested to call their destination hotel/place of stay to check whether they need proof of negative testing.
  • (7/7 4.08pm) Sanlitun Bars Likely to Remain Closed for at Least Another Two Weeks: In an announcement sent to Beijing’s bars and restaurants on Tuesday, the government has outlined requirements for the reopening of bars in the city, many of which have been closed since the second outbreak of coronavirus three weeks ago. The message details how a plan for the resumption of bars will be released on Jul 20. Read more details here.
  • (7/7 8.43am) ZERO New Cases! For the first time since the Xinfadi outbreak started in Jun 11, Beijing reported ZERO cases yesterday, Jul 6, as detailed today on the daily report from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. To make this news sweeter, there were also 4 recoveries from yesterday, the highest number of daily recoveries in this second wave. Meanwhile, despite 8 imported cases for all of China, it’s also the first time since Jun 10 that there were ZERO local cases nationwide, according to the daily report from the National Health Commission.
  • (7/6 2.28pm) One Last High-Risk Zone, Train Passengers No Longer Need Testing: After a significant scare put a damper on Beijing’s June, the rest of the summer is starting to look like smooth sailing now that confirmed local cases have been reduced to just one or two per day. This week, as we continue to survey the consequences of COVID’s return to the capital, we are happy to be the bearers of mostly good news – and genuinely hopeful that the trend will continue on that trajectory. Read more details on these good news in our most recent COVID-19 Catch-Up.

Jun 29 – Jul 5

  • (7/4 1.16pm) Returning Universal Beijing Resort Expat Staff From US Tests Positive: A 45-year-old American woman is the latest case in Tianjin who flew in from Orlando, Florida to resume work at the Universal Beijing Resort project in Tongzhou, as reported this afternoon by BJ News.
  • (7/3 4.56pm) COVID-19 Tests No Longer Required From Tomorrow: Some good breaking news from China Daily announces that effective tomorrow, Jul 4, negative nucleic acid tests are no longer required for Beijing travelers coming from low-risk areas.
  • (7/3 2.30pm) Couple Catches COVID-19 From Toilet: A couple who operates a bibimbap stall in a Tiankelong supermarket were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 after an infected person visited the building. According to the local CDC, the woman likely contracted the disease after visiting the building’s public toilet. More details in our latest Trending in Beijing.
  • (6/30 9.54am) First Patient Recovers From Recent Wet Market Outbreak: Good news comes today as one patient infected from the Xinfadi market has been released from the hospital, as reported by Xinhua via
  • (6/30 8.30am) Health Kit App Updated – But Not for Foreigners: A new feature was rolled out smoothly for the Health Kit App, save for one key oversight: the feature is not yet available for foreigners. Read more details on our most recent COVID-19 Catch-Up.
  • (6/29 10.18pm) Quarantine Period Now Doubled to 28 Days: As scientists fear that the new virus strain from the recent outbreak in Beijing is different and potentially more contagious than the one in Wuhan, the government has decided to double the quarantine period from 14 days to a staggering 28 days, as reported by Global Times.
  • (6/29 8.24pm) EU Borders to Open to Travelers From China If Condition Met: The European Union is open to the idea of allowing travelers from China to enter the bloc if, and only if, China will do the same for travelers from the EU. More details in a report by Caixin Global.

Jun 22 – 28

  • (6/28 9.56am) Nucleic Acid Testing Now Cheaper: The government has ordered all testing and public health insitutions to lower the price of a nucleic acid test from a previous ceiling of RMB 180 to a maximum price of RMB 120, as reported by
  • (6/28 2.39am) Over 26k Hair and Beauty Salon Staff All Tested Negative: As of Friday, all staff of hair and beauty salons in Beijing have undergone COVID-19 testing and were all cleared from the virus, as reported by Reminding guidelines were also issued to ensure safety in these places.
  • (6/27 8.36am) New All-Time High On Number of People Under Treatment: With yesterday’s numbers coming in today from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, Beijing now has officially hit a new all-time high of patients under treatment in the hospital with 297, exceeding the previous peak of 295 last Feb 12.
  • (6/26 5.16pm) Woman Tests Negative Four Times Before Finally Getting Confirmed: A 60-yr-old woman who visited the Xinfadi market and started developing symptoms of the virus initially tested negative four times using the throat swab method. On the fifth test, she was finally confirmed to be positive for COVID-19, as reported by The Straits Times.
  • (6/24 8.55pm) Beijing Outbreak Under Control: Officials have reported that the recent outbreak in the city is now under control, as reported by AFP via the The Hindu.
  • (6/24 1.39am) Busy Kuaidi Shifu Tests Positive for COVID-19: A delivery guy for, who mostly serves the southeast corner between the 2nd and 4th Ring Roads, has been confirmed to have contracted the virus and may have potentially affected people, as reported by Business Standard.
  • (6/23 9.25pm) Delta to Resume China Flights Starting Jun 25: In a report by Triangle Business Journal, Delta Airlines will be the first US carrier to operate commercial China-bound flights via layovers in Seoul (once a week) and Incheon (twice a week starting Jul 1). Note though that both routes will be servicing Shanghai Pudong from Seattle.
  • (6/23 10.42am) China Halts Food Imports from Tyson Foods USA: As hundreds of employees of Arkansas-based Tyson Foods tested positive for COVID-19, China has decided to stop imports of all foods coming from the company effective immediately. Those already en route will be seized at customs, as reported by Taipei Times.
  • (6/22 5pm) Vendor at Gongti Farmers’ Morning Market Tests Postive for COVID-19: Before feeling ill on Jun 13, a vendor at Chaowai Morning Market (朝外地区便民早市 cháowài dìqū biànmín zǎo shì), a famous farmers’ market south of Gongti, has been going to the market to sell his wares daily. He was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 on Jun 21, as reported by Sina News.
  • (6/22 4.55pm) Disney English Succumbs to COVID-19, Closes Down: In a WeChat post addressed to parents and published on their official account this morning, Jun 22, Disney English announced the permanent suspension of their English language courses and subsequent plans to refund students’ tuition fees. The popular school, which specializes in English language training for kids in China ages 2 to 12 using Disney characters and stories, cites a change in consumer preferences towards online learning experiences, exacerbated by pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, as the main reason for shutting down. Our sister publication beijingkids has the full story.
  • (6/22 7.53am) All 3 Imported Cases in Shanghai are Expats: This news may not be Beijing-specific but still tangentially interesting since foreigners in China, including those in Beijing, are gripped with two things (a) being blamed for the virus and (b) getting in and out of the country. With that said, the 3 new imported cases in Shanghai are all foreigners: 1 American and 2 Indian nationals, as BJ News reports this morning.

Jun 15 – 21

  • (6/21 10.08pm) PepsiCo Snack Factory Staff Test Positive for COVID-19, Operations Halted: PepsiCo’s potato chip factory located in Daxing, where Lay’s is also manufactured, halts production lines after several staff were confirmed to be positive for COVID-19. CGTN has the full reports.
  • (6/20 10.39am) Kuaidi Shifus to Undergo Mandatory Testing: Beijing’s entire fleet of delivery drivers (快递师傅 kuàidì shīfù) will undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing, as reported by BJ News. Expect to see delays or outages of service in the coming days.
  • (6/19 6.09pm) Peking University Hospital Put on Lockdown: Changping’s Peking University International Hospital has been put under lockdown as a nurse there has been diagnosed with COVID-19, as reported by BJ News.
  • (6/18 1.41pm) Your Checklist Prior to Flying Out: Beijing Capital International Airport, via BJ News, has just announced that effective immediately, travelers need 3 things to be able to fly: the destination’s local government’s requirements, a green health kit code and a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 7 days from travel date.
  • (6/18 12.03pm) Sanlitun Bars and Restaurants Close for Mass COVID-19 Testing of Staff: Word is trickling in that a number of restaurants and bars in and around Sanlitun are not open today to allow for their staff to receive COVID-19 tests. Malls in Shunyi such as Shine Hills conducted similar tests on Tuesday, setting off a wave of rumors that a case had been discovered there. In reality, no cases have been specifically found there (nor in Sanlitun), but this appears to be a citywide directive to test all F&B staff and clear them of possible infection. Read more details here.
  • (6/18 10am) Five Areas Upgraded to Medium-Risk: As of Jun 18, five areas on Beijing have been designated as medium-risk. See the list here.
  • (6/17 4.32pm) A Comprehensive List of Where You Can Get Tested for COVID-19 in Beijing: Beijing’s second wave of infections is here and so is the ramping up of testing. As of Jun 17, all people leaving Beijing are required to provide proof of a negative nucleic acid test within seven days of travel, meaning that centers are likely to be clogged with people trying to leave the capital. Luckily, there are 100 hospitals and clinics to choose from, and while an appointment is not always mandatory, we do recommend calling ahead to avoid disappointment. Check the full list here.
  • (6/17 2.30pm) Proof of a Negative Nucleic Acid Test Now Mandatory: As of Jun 17, all people leaving Beijing are required to provide proof of a negative nucleic acid test seven days prior to travel, according to Beijing Daily.
  • (6/17 1.08pm) Foreign Ministry Dismisses Rumor That Foreigners With Valid Visas Will Not Be Allowed Into China: The Chinese Foreign Ministry stepped in on Tuesday evening to refute rumors online that “all foreigners with valid visas and residence permits will be denied entry from Monday” amidst a second coronavirus outbreak in the capital. Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry and occasional rumormonger himself, said at yesterday’s press briefing that they had not released the information in question and that the image circulating had been “maliciously tampered with,” according to Global Times. Read more details of this report here.
  • (6/16 10.54pm) Schools Out: In a very late WeChat announcement from the Beijing Education Ministry, all schools are ordered closed from tomorrow. Read more details in English in a report by the Global Times.
  • (6/16 5.24pm) Need to Quarantine?: What to Expect if You Travel to These Provinces From Beijing: As restrictions continue to grow in Beijing in response to the latest outbreak of the coronavirus linked to Fengtai District’s Xinfadi wholesale food market, many questions remain as to where Beijingers can now travel. The local authorities are intent on stopping the spread of the virus, and are currently going to great measures to track down those likely to have come into contact with the market, its visitors, or its products over the past two weeks, and a large portion of those measures involve reducing the movement of people. As such, taxis and Didis have been restricted from traveling out of Beijing as of Tuesday morning and individual provinces are implementing their own quarantine and monitoring measures applicable to anyone from Beijing. Unfortunately, as of now, these are in no way uniform or standardized across the country, and navigating the myriad restrictions may alone be enough to put you off traveling for now. However, if you absolutely must travel, here is a list of quarantine measures as divided by province and compiled by WeChat account Beijing Radio.
  • (6/16 4.03pm) Shunyi Restaurants Close for Testing; Restaurants Restrict Group Dining: Several Shunyiites have reported today that some restaurants in the Shine Hills area of Shunyi have been closed indefinitely, allowing for inspectors to conduct tests on staff. It’s unclear how long the tests will take and if they’ll move to other areas, but it appears that the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention is currently undertaking huge testing of the city’s food and beverage establishments, sending out inspectors in hazmat suits to check on venues such as hotels and restaurants to minimize the chances of additional spread of the virus via contaminated goods. Likewise, following the reinstatement of one-meter social distancing dining measures yesterday, it appears that authorities are ramping up measures today to reduce group dining. We would not be surprised if this is the beginning of a move toward dining restrictions as they stood around mid-March, so if you’re heading for dinner with friends we suggest contacting the venue to find out whether you’ll be allowed to sit together ahead of time.
  • (6/15 5.57pm) How Travel, Venues, and Schools Stand to be Affected by Latest COVID-19 Outbreak: After the third consecutive day of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the capital, the Beijing Municipal Committee has updated a new set of restrictions and regulations to help strengthen the city’s response and prevention of the further spread of the virus. We attempt to distill the changes that we’ve seen so far here.
  • (6/15 4.08pm) Xinfadi Virus Strain Same as the One Since January: Expert on communicable diseases clarifies that the strain of virus found in Xinfadi market is basically the same as the one that’s been circulating since January. In other words, the virus has not mutated in a way that makes it any more or less communicable or deadly, as reported by BJ News.
  • (6/15 3.47pm) Hot & Spicy 2020 Postponed in Light of Latest COVID-19 Outbreak: In light of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the weekend, it’s with heavy hearts that we must announce the postponement of Hot & Spicy Festival, due to take place at Galaxy Soho on Jun 25-27, until later this summer. Read our team’s official announcement as well as more details here.

Jun 8 – 14

  • (6/14 1pm) COVID-19 Fails to Dethrone Queenie’s Sandwiches and Bar (QS): By early February, COVID-19 had turned into a nationwide epidemic, and QS was promptly obliged to shut their doors. Uncertain of when they’d be able to reopen, the team knew they would have to innovate, lest they be forced to close for good. Read how co-owner Jim Wang and his team did it here.
  • (6/14 10.09am) 36 New Infections: In a new record one-day high for Beijing, the city had 36 new infections yesterday, as reported by BJ News.
  • (6/13 12.24pm) Fengtai Put Under “Wartime” Control: In order to swiftly contain this new outbreak, the whole of Fengtai District has been put on “wartime” (战时机制 zhàn shí jīzhì) control, as reported by BJ News.
  • (6/13 11.31am) 45 Additional People From Xinfadi Market Tested Asymptomatic: In devastating news this morning, 45 asymptomatic cases fro Xinfadi and 1 positive case from a Haidian market have been confirmed, as reported by BJ News.
  • (6/13 9.25am) Six More Cases Reported Yesterday: Six new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Beijing yesterday, according to a report by the National Health Commission.
  • (6/12 4.30pm) Two Additional Cases Reported in Fengtai District: As of this afternoon, there have been two additional new coronavirus cases reported in Fengtai District, according to Beijing Youth Daily. Both patients are male and are colleagues at Fengtai’s China Meat Research Center.
  • (6/12 4.12pm) These Are the Beijing Clubs That Have Reopened: It seems like it has been forever since we last went clubbing, indulging in the hollow decadence of Gongti Xilu or the messy charm of the Temple/Dada courtyard. After the announcement back in January that Beijing’s clubs would be forced to close throughout the pandemic, many of us caught up on some serious sleep while the city was devoid of its late-night vibrance. But if you’ve been to Gongti recently you’ll notice that the shiny supercars, trendy clubbers, and street food vendors are slowly making their way back to the area and the people are ready to blow off some steam. How that stands to change with reports this week of Beijing’s first infection in close to two months is yet to be seen but it appears that the momentum of opening up will not easily be stopped. With that in mind, here is a list of clubs that are now open as well as those we’re still waiting to welcome back.
  • (6/12 12.25pm) Beijing’s 56-Day Clean Streak Broken by New Coronavirus Cases: Beijing’s record of 56 consecutive days without a single new COVID-19 case was broken on Thursday following reports of at least one new local infection in Xicheng District. The news, announced at a press conference by Miao Jianhong, deputy head of Xicheng District, detailed how the patient, a 56-year-old male surnamed Tang and resident of the Yuetan Jiedao complex, was diagnosed after visiting the hospital on Wednesday with symptoms of intermittent fever, fatigue, and chills. He had no cough or chest pain. More details on this developing story here.
  • (6/9 9.41am) One Last Step to Zero: Beijing is one step closer from being entirely free of COVID-19. Yesterday one of the last 2 remaining patients under treatment for the disease was released. One more and the number of patients under treatment drops to 0. Meanwhile, its been 54 days since any new infections (local transmissions or imported cases) have been reported in the city. The tally so far: 594 total infections, 584 recovered, 9 deaths, 1 under treatment. Official report here.
  • (6/9 8.30am) All Fitness Venues and Pools Set to Reopen as Beijing Further Downgrades COVID-19 Risk Level: It’s been more than a month since the city downgraded to level two on Apr 30 and last updated gym operating procedures, however, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports has announced that all fitness centers, including public and private pools across the city, can once again reopen just so long as – you guessed it – they stick to a number of strict restrictions. Read more details here.

Jun 1 – 7

  • (6/7 3.26pm) A Good Sign of Opening Up: China’s vice foreign minister announced on Sunday that the country is continuing its efforts in pushing for the “fast track” border entry arrangements, as reported by Philippine broadsheet Manila Bulletin.
  • (6/7 1pm) Chinese Paralympic training facilities reopen: Paralympic athletes in China have cause to celebrate as their training bases have finally reopened after more than four months of closure. Our OlymPicks series has more details on this piece of good news for the athletes.
  • (6/5 4.35pm) No More Temperature Checks: Although we expect for this news to percolate slowly, temperature checks will allegedly be no longer required starting tomorrow, as reported by BJ News.
  • (6/4 2.09pm) China Eases Airline Restrictions, Implements New Points System for COVID-19 Control: After a tense rhetorical back-and-forth between Chinese and American officials, China will finally allow US airlines to fly to China, in addition to all other foreign airlines that had previously been restricted from flying into the country, Reuters reports. The change will be welcome news to many Chinese citizens who have been eagerly waiting to return from abroad. However, it has no effect on those foreign passport holders wanting to do the same. Read the details of this good news here.
  • (6/3 10.36pm) Hopes of US-China Flight Resumptions Continue to Spiral Down: When we thought it couldn’t get worse, Reuters broke the news that the Trump administration has decided to bar Chinese airlines from flying into America.
  • (6/3 7.18pm) Update on the “Fast Track” for UK Citizens: The China-Britain Business Council sent out an official communication update via WeChat on the “fast track” system that UK nationals can avail of in order to return to China. Although this is only available to British people now, it looks like it could be the blueprint for the future for other countries.
  • (6/3 8.59am) Traveler Who Disguised Illness on Flight to Beijing Formally Charged: Remember this story back in March of a woman who few from Boston knowingly disguising her illness? She’s now formally charged, as reported by Xinhua.
  • (6/1 1.12pm) Healing Through Words: Beijing Postcards Wants Your COVID-19 Stories: Tour company Beijing Postcards are looking to reach out to individuals, hoping to create an oral history of how the damage caused by the coronavirus has also had the capacity to build bonds, especially at a grassroots level. Read more details on the project here.

May 25 – 31

  • (5/27 8.58am) NASA Reveals Rebound in NO2 Density in China, PM2.5 Returns Too: NASA has released new maps to present their data on the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) density in China, revealing an undeniable rebound in levels commensurate with the country’s economy reopening. Earlier this year, we criticized an academic blog that made waves when they used NASA images and other data sets from February and January 2020 to show that the COVID-19 lockdown had resulted in reduced pollution in China. However, they failed to account for year-over-year comparisons, and missed the fact that historically, the country sees an annual reduction in pollution around the time of the Lunar New Year. Read more details on this report here.
  • (5/26 11am) Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Goes Back to Turning Down Beds, Not Guests: The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing has become famous for its unparalleled views of Yanqi Lake, initially shut down in late January, however, by mid-April, China’s mitigation efforts had successfully brought COVID-19 under control and Beijingers were eager to make the hour-long journey northward to Huairou, where they could bask in the glory of the resort’s natural beauty. Read how their team was able to refine and perfect their epidemic prevention and control procedures here.

May 18 – 24

  • (5/24 3.30pm) Setback on US-China Flights: One bit of negative news regarding the possible opening up is how the resumption of flights between the US and China is getting political, as reported by
  • (5/23 4.06pm) One More Sign of Opening Up: Arrangements similar to the South Korean deal, albeit quite limited, is a fast-track created for UK key business travelers, as reported by Xinhua.
  • (5/23 9am) China Law Help Answers Your Questions on Employment in China During the Pandemic: The COVID-19 era has been a mess for businesses – and the people employed by them. Even as we enter the recovery phase, many foreigners in Beijing, as well as those who have been stuck outside of China since the visa ban took effect, continue to face an onslaught of questions about their employment. To gain some clarity on the subject, we talked with Sophie Mao of the China Law Help blog, a project of Chinabridge Law Firm that aims to help foreigners and foreign-operated corporations better understand legal matters, about the kinds of labor questions and disputes that foreigners generally face in China, as well as the questions they might have as a result of the pandemic. Read the interview here.
  • (5/23 8.58am) Zero New Cases in China: For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, there were zero new cases anywhere in China (local or imported) yesterday, as reported by BJ News.
  • (5/21 12.12pm) International Flight Restrictions Expected to Continue Until October: Heavy restrictions on international air travel into China will continue until at least October, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced Tuesday. The news comes as a blow to many foreigners who are eagerly awaiting the end of China’s visa ban, as it indicates that a return to China could be difficult even if the ban is lifted. Read more details here.
  • (5/21 10am) COVID-19 Huffed and Puffed, but Couldn’t Blow 3 Little Pigs Down: There’s no doubt that COVID-19 wrought particular havoc on Beijing’s F&B scene, but given the resiliency of our fair city’s restaurateurs, many were able to weather that storm. For some, it meant innovating operations and turning to delivery, while for others it was a simple case of having enough cash on hand to go dark for a few months. And yet, for 3 Little Pigs‘ owner Andy Horowitz it was a combination of both, with a loyal and reliable staff to boot. Read our interview with Horowitz here.
  • (5/18 11.39am) Some Things to Consider Before You Go Completely Mask-Free: Speaking at yesterday’s national COVID-19 daily update, the National Health Commission State Council announced that “there is no need to wear masks in areas of China categorized as low-risk, provided there is adequate airflow/ventilation and appropriate social distancing can be maintained.” However, some other conditions need to be met. Read more about them here.

May 11 – 17

  • (5/14 10.47am) Most Beijing Students to Return by Jun 8, University Campuses Reopen Jun 6: At a press conference held at 4pm Wednesday, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission (BMEC) announced the latest round of class return dates, this time for Grades 11, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and Kindergarten. With high school seniors already back in class since Apr 27, and Grade 9 students back from this Monday, May 11, the announcement is more welcome news for Beijing parents of school-aged students. Read more details on the announcement here.
  • (5/13 9.40pm) More Evidence of Opening: As further evidence of opening up, hundreds of German businesspeople and their families have signed up on a special charter flight, as reported by
  • (5/12 9.01pm) COVID-19 Takes Down Beloved Live Music Venue DDC: DDC, one of Beijing’s most beloved live music venues since its opening in 2014, is calling it quits. In a WeChat post that went out via its official account earlier today, the club said the pressures of a three-month shutdown due to the coronavirus (and still no date on the horizon for permission to resume hosting live shows), as well as increasingly strict regulation of vintage courtyard properties such as theirs, has necessitated the closure. Read more on the story here.
  • (5/12 8.30am) Foreigner volunteer scans temperatures at Andingmen: Social media is not kind to badly behaved foreigners, so it’s nice to see the sense of togetherness that is garnered when people of different nationalities work in unison toward a common good. A young Czech named David is an official health volunteer for the local committee. Read his story here.
  • (5/11 1pm) Breathing Life Back Into Beijing’s Restaurant Industry: Just one month ago, the streets were empty, barring the occasional delivery guys on their motorcycles shipping everything from groceries to toilet paper. The hardest part of isolation was not being able to go out and enjoy Beijing’s diverse dining scene. We therefore checked-in with some of the city’s F&B personalities on how they’re doing. Read it here.

May 4 – 10

  • (5/8 5.10pm) 2022 Olympic qualifiers postponed: Several sports that intended to hold their 2022 Olympic qualifiers this year are having to postpone qualifying rounds on account of the COVID-19. Our OlymPicks series has more details.
  • (5/8 1.12pm) International Students Have Been Stuck on Beijing University Campuses for Months: Even before Beijing reduced its risk status at the end of April, many communities were already beginning to open up, allowing deliveries and service providers to enter with ease. As restrictions continue to loosen and some communities now even allow social visits, some international students are beginning to wonder when their campus will do the same. And they have good reason to wonder given that they have essentially been stranded on campus since January. We spoke to some international students who said that they were never given an entry-exit pass. Read more here.
  • (5/7 4pm) Lose the Mask for Outdoor Sports but Keep Them on for Subway Rides, Says Beijing CDC: Beijing’s Center for Disease Control (Beijing CDC) announced at a press conference Thursday that mask-wearing will no longer be necessary for outdoor exercise. For details on other guidelines, click here.
  • (5/7 9.14pm) City’s 100th Consecutive Daily Press Conference Still Says No to Some Businesses: Fourteen weeks after COVID-19 was first reported in Beijing, the city is slowly edging back to normal — though we still have a ways to go yet. In the city’s 100th consecutive daily press conference today, officials noted six types of businesses that are still not allowed to open in Beijing as follows: entertainment venues; team sports (including basketball, football and volleyball) as well as martial arts studios; swimming pools, gyms in underground facilities, and shower facilities at gyms; indoor attractions (including caves) at parks and tourist areas; high risk tourism attractions and glass walkways; and group package tours that include air tickets and hotel.
  • (5/7 2pm) National Museum Inaccessible to Foreigners: Foreigners cannot currently enter the National Museum or the Capital Museum because of an oversight with the reservation systems, which only allow Chinese nationals to reserve. Additionally, the desk that would usually process foreigners is not currently being staffed. The museum was unable to give any indication on if or when foreigners would again be allowed to enter.
  • (5/6 4.58pm) Evidence of First Policy of Opening:According to Global Times, a couple of chartered flights carrying South Koreans have landed in Wuhan.
  • (5/4 11.37am) Another Small Step on Return Flights: Ahough this has nothing to do with the foreigner restrictions (only PRC citizens can fly in for now, with the exception of certain South Korean businessmen, as referenced here earlier) — this shows progress on how eventually it might work for foreigners looking to return. Starting May 8, passengers returning on the Moscow-Beijing route are now required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 5 days of departure, otherwise they will not be permitted to fly, as reported by BJ News.

Apr 27 – May 3

  • (5/2 7.37am) South Koreans Can Enter China on Very Special Conditions: As of May 1, China and South Korea made a deal to allow citizens of the latter to enter China under very special conditions, pavign the way for potential openings to other foreign nationals in the future. More details can be read via
  • (4/30 4.32pm) Beijing Government COVID-19 Daily Press Conference Goes Mask-less: In a refreshing surprise in today’s daily press conference, all the spokespeople at the Beijing city press conference took off their masks for the first time after they started the daily briefings 87 days ago. See how they actually look like here.
  • (4/30 1.28pm) Forbidden City Tickets Sell Out in Hours; NLGX and Other Major Attractions Also Reopen: The Forbidden City is one of the last major Beijing attractions to announce its reopening, but it too will be open for the May Day holiday, reports Beijing News. Additionally, famous hutong Nanluogu Xiang will be opening to visitors who book ahead. Read more details here.
  • (4/29 12.07pm) Chaoyang’s Red Status Set to Go Green at Midnight, Allow Travel? Chaoyang will no longer be classified as a high-risk area as of midnight tonight. The last case in Beijing was reported Apr 15, meaning that the high-risk status is set to expire tonight. Read more details here.
  • (4/28 1.36pm) Last Patient Released from Xiaotangshan: Custom re-built specifically to deal with a possible surge in coronavirus patients, the Xiaotangshan Hospital dismissed its last 2 patients yesterday and is scheduled to be closed tomorrow after 44 days of service. Over the course of that time, 2,175 people were screened, with 53 patients testing positive. Not a single medical worker contracted the disease over the 44 days.
  • (4/27 12.08pm) Ziroom Allows Foreigners Outside China to Terminate Their Lease and Keep Their Deposit: China’s blanket ban on foreigners entering the country has meant that many expats who departed in the early days of the pandemic are now left stranded and unable to return to their life and work here, even as schools and businesses prepare their return to normalcy. Moreover, those with long-term leases have found themselves in a particular pickle, forced to pay rent on an apartment to which they cannot return. Now, there is good news for stranded renters who are lucky enough to have signed through Ziroom. Read the announcement of the rental company here.
  • (4/27 10.32am) Ninth Death Reported: Tragically, another COVID-19 patient lost their battle against the disease in Beijing yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths due to the coronavirus to nine. Details of the patient’s age or condition were not reported. This pushes the death rate in Beijing to somewhere around 1.5 to 1.7 percent, depending on how you calculate it. As of today, 59 patients remain under treatment, 56 of which are “imported” cases of people who flew into the city from overseas.
  • (4/27 4.24pm) These Are the Beijing Venues So Far Laid to Waste by the Coronavirus: Beijing’s F&B scene currently seems to be faring better than Shanghai, who has seen multiple venues laid to waste every week since Chinese New Year and the beginnings of the largescale outbreak, a fact all too conspicuous from SmartShanghai’s frequent and long lists of casualties. However, some Beijing restaurants, unfortunately, have already closed in the past several weeks. These are some of the biggest.
  • (4/27 9.49am) Beijing’s High Schools Open: Senior high schoolers are back to school this morning, after a closure that started before Chinese New Year. The highest grade in middle school (9th in the Chinese system and 8th in some Western systems) are due back May 11, but no other grades have been announced in Beijing. Chongqing’s schedule might give us a hint on what to expect: Ninth and 12th graders resumed school on Apr 20 and Grades 4-6 are set to return today. That implies a six-week process of gradually returning to campus for students in one of China’s largest cities, a pattern that may give us in Beijing a clue as to how long it will take to get all students back: if the same pattern is followed the city could see all students back by Jun 8. Our sister site Beijingkids is tracking all the news we find about schools here.

Apr 20 – 26

  • (4/24 3.39pm) How Hard Has COVID-19 Been on Beijing vs SARS? It’s been 13-1/2 weeks since COVID-19 was first reported in Beijing in January, and we’re now on an 8-day streak of no new infections found in the city. This is a good time to go back and reflect on how SARS hit Beijing in 2003. Back in the SARS era, it was 16 weeks and two days from the time of the first infection (Mar 2, 2003) before the WHO removed Beijing from its travel advisory list and declared it free of SARS (Jun 24, 2003). The last Beijing SARS infection was reported on Jun 11, 2003, which means the entire affair from first infection to the last happened over the course of 14 weeks and three days. While COVID-19 has hit the planet far worse than SARS, Beijing as a city to date has seen nowhere near the deaths and infections it suffered through due to SARS. Over 2,000 people contracted SARS in Beijing and nearly 200 died… compare this to less than 600 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Beijing and a mere eight deaths (to date). Let’s hope this trend holds out for the city (and others follow in its path).
  • (4/24 3.17pm) Dogs Join Expats on List of Those Getting Paperwork Reprieves: In light of the ongoing pandemic and prevention measures, Beijing’s annual two-month dog inspection period has been extended between May 30 to Dec 31. In addition, the municipal government has stated that dog owners who are subject to quarantine during that period should wait until their isolation is complete before registering their dog.
  • (4/23 7.34am) Beijing’s Death Rate Under 1.6 Percent, No Matter How You Slice It: As of yesterday, there have been 593 total infections in Beijing; eight people have died; 518 have left the hospital, and 67 remain under treatment. So what’s the death rate? We could look at Deaths / Total Infections (8/593) and conclude 1.3 percent. This ignores the people who are still under treatment. If we look only at decided cases (Deaths / [Deaths + Total Recovered]) we get 8/(518+8) = 1.5 percent. A third way of looking at this is: data shows the median illness duration for survivors was 22 days (for fatalities it was 18.5 days). Thus we can look at the number of people hospitalized as of 22 days ago in Beijing – 580 – and divide deaths by that, giving us 8/580 or 1.4 percent. BTW of the eight deaths in Beijing, seven were people who had underlying health conditions; using the same numbers above, the rate of death for those without underlying conditions in Beijing is between 0.17% and 0.19%. Statistically speaking that means that if you contract COVID-19 in Beijing and have no pre-existing conditions, there’s about a one in 526 chance you will die.
  • (4/22 8.40am) Reopening Borders to Foreigners? Well, it’s just a plan right now, but at least we know it’s being discussed: China is close to reaching a deal to allow South Koreans to come back to China, while opening inbound travel from other foreign nationals is being discussed, AFP reports.
  • (4/22 8.35am) Sporting Facilities Slowly Reopening: Good news for sports fans: sports facilities will slowly begin reopening over the next few weeks, starting with outdoor venues and later moving towards indoor venues.
  • (4/20 11.48am) Getting Back to Normal: Beijing is well on its way to getting back to normal. We’re not there yet, and diligence is still necessary. However, as everyone is reaching coronavirus information saturation, you’ll find we’re updating this particular post less and less often. However, our coverage continues – you’ll find all of our posts on the subject indexed here.

Apr 13 – 19

  • (4/17 10.56am) Don’t Pop a Tent: Chaoyang Park has issued a notice that tents will now be prohibited. Many a park visitor brings along a tent to pop on the grass to provide shade and a base for picnics and the like, but in order to discourage gatherings, the park has temporarily suspended this privilege. If you plan on doing the same in other parts of Beijing, do not be surprised if you are asked to take your tent down.
  • (4/16 9.41am) Local Transmissions Back: Three local transmissions were reported in Beijing yesterday, all apparently connected to an imported case, and all in Chaoyang District. No further details were available so far. Prior to yesterday, the last day with a local transmission in Beijing was Mar 23, and we have to go back to Feb 26 to find a single day with more than three transmissions.
  • (4/16 9.04am) Just Wear a Mask: Look we don’t care if the WHO or the CDC or your uncle or your favorite conspiracy theory website says masks do no good. Local regulations and local norms say wear one. This expat decided to buck the trend, and the neighbors were not amused.
  • (4/15 10.39am) Africans in Beijing React to Guangzhou Situation: Incidents of discrimination in Guangzhou have garnered the world’s attention, and Africans in Beijing and have expressed solidarity with African residents of Guangzhou, and soundly admonished the discriminatory practices.
  • (4/14 6.44pm) Some Nice Numbers to Share Today: 3: We’re on the first-ever three-day streak of no new infections in Beijing; 4: Only four patients that contracted COVID-19 locally remain hospitalized (the other 86 that remain under treatment flew in); 21: It’s been a full three weeks since we’ve had a local transmission in Beijing.
  • (4/13 9.57am) Beijing Seniors Head Back: After months of waiting and wondering when schools would reopen, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission finally announced yesterday that high school seniors students will be able to return to school on Monday, April 27 with 9th-grade students to follow on May 11.

Apr 6 – 12

  • (4/10 4.39pm) Hotels Now Require COVID-19 Test: Anyone coming to Beijing from outside the city must present certification that they have tested negative COVID-19 within the last seven days in order to check into a hotel, city officials announced today. At this point, the policy does not appear to affect those of us already in Beijing. All arrivals are now automatically tested for COVID-19 during their first two weeks in Beijing, which they must spend in quarantine at home or in a government-appointed central facility.
  • (4/10 2.14pm) Double Zeros: For the second day in a row, Beijing has reported zero new infections in the city. How rare is this? Since Jan 20, when Beijing first started reporting COVID-19 cases in the capital, a double zero has only happened once before – on Feb 22 and 23.
  • (4/9 9.07am) When Will Beijing’s Schools Restart? Still no word on Beijing, though all but six of China’s administrative areas have already restarted school, and rumors are percolating that we might hear about Beijing’s plans within a week. Our sister site beijingkids has the details about school reopenings China-wide here.
  • (4/8 10.55am) COVID-19 Tests for Everyone in Quarantine: All those subject to centralized or home quarantine in Beijing will now be given compulsory COVID-19 tests, the Beijing News reports. Currently, everyone coming to the capital from overseas or from domestic locations is being quarantined at local hotels or at their residence.
  • (4/7 3.54pm) No Double Quarantine: Two weeks ago when China began diverting all flights from Beijing and quarantining passengers in secondary cities, the question on everyone’s mind was: will these people have to do another quarantine upon arrival in the capital? The simple answer now: no.
  • (4/7 9.17am) Haidilao is Back: Dining rooms are reopened at 50 Beijing locations of everybody’s favorite hot pot spot, Haidilao. They reopened most locations in Beijing over the weekend, and some had two-hour waits to be seated. The chain is restricting each table to a maximum of three diners, and diners are complaining that bills are ringing in as up to 6 percent more expensive than prior to the outbreak.

Mar 30 – Apr 5

  • (4/3 9.37am) Beijing’s Death Rate Still Under 2 Percent: What percentage of those diagnosed with COVID-19 in Beijing have Died? Depends on how you calculate it. As of today, there as been 582 total infections; eight people have died; 424 have left the hospital, and 141 remain under treatment. We could look at Deaths / Total Infections (8/582) and conclude 1.4 percent. This ignores the people who are still under treatment. If we look only at decided cases (Deaths / [Deaths + Total Recovered]) we get 8/(424+8) = 1.9 percent. A third way of looking at this is: use this data that showed the median illness duration for survivors was 22 days (for fatalities it was 18.5 days). Thus we can look at the number of people hospitalized as of 22 days ago in Beijing – 435 – and divide deaths by that, giving us 8/435 or 1.8 percent. BTW of the eight deaths in Beijing, seven were people who had underlying health conditions.
  • (4/2 10.50pm) Foreigners Behaving Badly: It’s been a day of reports of “foreigners behaving badly” across China. First came news of a spat in Qingdao that had something to do with cutting in line. Then came news from Guangzhou that a foreigner who had tested positive for COVID-19 tried to break out of quarantine and physically assaulted a nurse in the process. Finally, closer to home, a foreigner living in the Panjiayuan area of the city is now being deported for not following the quarantine rules of his residential community. That makes two foreigners we know of (after an Australian woman was deported two weeks ago) that have lost their right to live in Beijing thanks to breaking quarantine. Our take? Two weeks at home is nothing, people – why is this so difficult for some?
  • (4/2 3.57pm) Unsung Heroes: There’s a lot of people out there that deserve praise for helping us through tough times. Here‘s a story of one of them.
  • (4/2 3.52pm) Parks Tighten Up: Beijing’s weather is getting really nice, and the parks are one of the main recreational opportunities that have largely remained open over the past two months. All parks are now limiting crowds to 30% of normal volume, and those with tickets are increasingly requiring advanced tickets, usually via their apps. If you intend to go to the park in the coming days, we suggest the following: (1) When possible, buy a ticket in advance. Search the park name in WeChat and you’ll find in most cases there are apps where you can buy your ticket in advance. Unfortunately, some require a Chinese ID to register; this is a tech problem and not racism. (2) Have a Plan B. There’s 20 million people in this city, and probably 10 million would like a little fresh air. Don’t be disappointed if you are turned away. (3) Please, please, please turn off your “they’re picking on me cuz I’m foreign” radar. If you are turned away from a park, it’s not because you’re foreign. It’s likely it’s because the park is full.
  • (4/1 9.24am) Happy April Fool’s Day: Normally we love to play a fast one on everyone with some April Fool’s pranks. However, given the current flow of disinformation surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve decided that a joke about that subject would likely cause more anxiety than chuckles. Be careful what you’re reading out there today; there’s likely to be some things out there that are looking for a laugh at an inopportune time.
  • (3/31 8.54pm) Expect a Numbers Jump Tomorrow: Starting tomorrow (Apr 1), China will begin reporting “positive but asymptomatic cases” nationwide as part of their daily COVID-19 stats package. China has been tracking these people (and quarantining them for 14 days) since mid-February when they changed the diagnostic criteria for patients, but their numbers have not been given in daily reports. As of yesterday, there are 1,541 asymptomatic carriers nationwide, with 205 of them flying in from abroad. An asymptomatic carrier is someone that has tested positive for the virus but has not shown any symptoms of the disease.
  • (3/31 8.44pm) Health App Goes Foreigner Friendly: Finally, a laowai-friendly version of the app that allows Beijingers to prove that they are in good health and have completed the necessary 14-day quarantine in the capital is available. Here’s how to use it.
  • (3/31 9.16am) America’s Basketball Players in Beijing Do Their Part in Coronavirus Fight: Stephon Marbury and Jeremy Lin, two American b-ball stars who call Beijing home, are doing their part to help in the fight against the coronavirus.
  • (3/30 12:51pm) Xiaotangshan Released First Patient: Xiaotangshan Hospital, the amazing facility that was originally built during SARS, eventually mothballed and just rebuilt for COVID-19, has released its first recovered patient since opening Mar 16. The hospital has screened over 2,000 people and at its peak has handled 394 people in one day. A total of 43 cases have been discovered during that time.
  • (3/30 9.28am) Hubei Folks Begin to Return: Over 7,000 people from Hubei have returned to Beijing over the past few days and are quarantining at their local residence or at government-designated hotels, the Beijing News reports. Those that have returned so far are applied to return to Beijing and have taken special trains from the province and are met at the station by volunteers that arrange transport to their local communities.

Mar 23 – 29

  • (3/29 3.59pm) 1 of 3 Beijing Expats Trapped Abroad: A survey sent to over 3,000 people via WeChat indicates that 32 percent – or nearly 1 in 3 – of Beijing’s expat population is outside of China and unable to return now that the PRC has temporarily suspended entry to even valid visa-holding foreigners, with no timetable for when the restriction will be lifted.
  • (3/28 4.32pm) Banding Together: China’s enterprising record labels have pooled their resources, creating compilations to help raise money for the ongoing issues faced by medical staff and citizens of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak
  • (3/27 8.11pm) Remember Your Senior Year of High School? Many of us would agree that it was one of the most memorable years of our life. Between graduation, college acceptance letters, Prom, and the knowledge that it’s the last year spent in your hometown (and parents’ house no less), it’s a time that we both never want to end, and can’t get past soon enough. For the class of 2020, most of these traditions were devastated by COVID-19. In this seriesbeijingkids chats with Seniors to find out the extent of the impact to their final year of High School and what they’re doing to salvage those memories.
  • (3/27 2.01am) No Foreigners In After Midnight Saturday: China will temporarily block all foreigners from entering the country beginning at midnight tonight, even those with valid visas. There are very few exceptions to this rule. More on this breaking story here.
  • (3/26 10.31pm) Severe New Restrictions on Inbound Flights: Chinese and foreign airlines will be restricted to one route per country per week as of Mar 29, the Civil Aviation Administration of China announced today. Additionally, seating on every flight shall be capped at 75 percent capacity. The notice said that cargo flights will operate as normal. The CAAC also warned that further adjustments could be announced at any time. The announcement comes at a time when local transmission of the coronavirus has been contained but increasing numbers continue to come in on overseas flights.
  • (3/26 10.22pm) Support Your Local F&B Venue: As more venues start to reopen, more deals are surfacing to lure you from your very comfy couch. Here is a selection of events and promotions that Beijing’s bars and restaurants are offering to get you through the door without breaking the bank.
  • (3/26 5.29pm) Hotels Turning Away Foreigners? Reports are trickling in that some hotels are turning away foreign guests – though this does not appear to be an official edict. We take a closer look here.
  • (3/26 11.42am) When Will School Be Back in Session? There’s still no set dates for Beijing, but already a dozen provinces have started to choose dates for the restart of in-person classes. Our sister site beijingkids is updating this post daily with everything we hear from schools, education commissions, and official sources.
  • (3/25 6.31pm) Five New Infections Reported, All Students Returning from Abroad: Five new infections were reported in Beijing today, all students flying home from abroad, according to the Beijing NewsOne of them was a 16-year-old Chinese exchange student who told doctors here that her school would not allow students to wear masks on campus.
  • (3/25 4.24pm) Stories from Beijing’s Front Lines: We’ve already profiled 25 Beijing folks on how they’re dealing with the outbreak in our Beijing Bunker series. How about your story? If you have an interesting experience to share, send an email to and tell us about it.
  • (3/25 3.28pm) Families Separated For Quarantine: There’s a lot of anxiousness over the rules on at-home vs. hotel quarantine, particularly when it involves children. Beijingkids writer Drew Pittock explains why the city government is taking those steps here.
  • (3/25 12.48am) Beijing Now Testing All Overseas Arrivals: Everyone landing in Beijing from overseas will now be given a COVID-19 test. Here’s what you can expect.
  • (3/24 6.50pm) First Report of a Local Transmission Traced to Overseas Returnee: For the first time during the COVID-19 epidemic, a local transmission has been traced to an overseas returnee. Of the 32 new infections reported yesterday, one is suspected of picking it up from someone from in his Haidian residence at Dahe Zhuangyuan (大河庄苑) on Suzhou Jie. The 42-year-old Beijinger started feeling sick on Mar 10 and was eventually hospitalized on Mar 23. Another resident in his building had returned from the UK on Mar 5, before the mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals was implemented. That resident developed a fever on Mar 9 and was confirmed with COVID-19 on Mar 12. The two shared the same stairwell in their building, where the transmission is believed to have occurred.
  • (3/24 6.39pm): First Confirmation of a Foreign Passport Holder with COVID-19 in Beijing: In today’s report of new infections, one person was listed as an Albanian passport holder, the first we’ve seen of anything in official Chinese media confirming that a foreigner in Beijing has COVID-19. We suspect there might be others, though there has been no official tally of the nationality of Beijing’s 554 infections to date.
  • (3/24 5.58pm) Four Expats Denied Entrance: At least four foreigners have been denied entrance upon landing in Beijing for violating regulations in place due to COVID-19, the city government announced at today’s press conference. Regulations have been in place since Mar 3 that all those entering from abroad must conduct a 14-day quarantine; however border patrol examining entry and exit data discovered these four had re-entered China more than once within 14 days, meaning they had failed to adhere to quarantine regulations.
  • (3/24 2.27pm) Badaling Great Wall Reopens: Those looking for some fresh air and to beat normally heavy crowds could do better than booking a trip to the Badaling Great Wall on a weekday. The popular tourist area reopened today, and will be open daily from 9am to 4pm. Crowds will be limited to 30 percent of normal capacity and health checks are in place. We suggest you book in advance, which can be done via their WeChat account GreatWall-badaling. The site is in Chinese only and requires a passport or Chinese ID to book.
  • (3/24 1.48pm) Has Your Landlord Told You They Can’t Rent to Foreigners? Here’s what we know about this situation and what you should do.
  • (3/24 9.19am) New High for New Reported Infections: 32 Beijing just hit a one-day peak for newly reported infections, with a total of 32 reported yesterday. All but one are cases of people who flew in from overseas, while the remaining one is a local infection that is connected to an overseas case. Beijing’s previous one-day high was 31, reported on Feb 2, over seven weeks ago. One glimmer of hope, despite this bad news: given Beijing’s strict quarantine system, virtually none of these folks have been out and about in the city, potentially spreading the virus. Also note that this doesn’t mean that 31 sick people were pulled off flights yesterday; it’s the total of new imported infections reported, which will include some that have been symptomatic on inbound flights and some who have turned up sick after being placed in quarantine.
  • (3/23 7.47pm) Beijing Zoo Reopens After a Two Month Hiatus: Finally, some good news among all this doom and gloom: the Beijing Zoo has officially reopened as of today, after a closure of two months. While not one of the world’s best zoos, it’s one of the world’s cheapest at 10 kuai and makes for at the very least a pleasant place to wander and spring brings Beijing’s plant life into bloom.
  • (3/23 12.11pm) Mainly Family Infections: Family members who have had close contact with those who have contracted COVID-19 are more than five times as likely to contract the disease as those that have had contact with others carrying the disease, Beijing officials announced at yesterday’s press conference on the COVID-19 epidemic. The rate of transmission amongst family members is 17 percent, while the rate of transmission from contact with ill people in other social settings has been only 3 percent. The overwhelming majority of cases in Beijing — up to 86 percent — have been family clusters, with the largest cluster being seven members of the same family.

Mar 16 – 22

  • (3/22 10.47pm) No More Direct Flights to Beijing:  All international flights into Beijing will be rerouted to one of 12 cities prior to landing in the capital beginning at midnight tonight, the Civil Aviation Administration of China announced this afternoon.
  • (3/22 12.15pm) 85% of All Currently Hospitalized in Beijing Came from Overseas: 13 new infections were reported yesterday in Beijing, all flying in from overseas. That brings Beijing’s case total to 512, with 97 of them, or 19%, flying in from overseas. Of the 106 patients still under treatment in Beijing, 90 of them are people who flew in from overseas. Of the 415 local infections, 8 have died and 391 (or 94%) have left treatment.
  • (3/21 6.22pm) Changping Resident Tests Positive After Four Negative Tests: A 27-year-old Liaoning man is in critical condition in Beijing after flying in from New York City and testing negative four times, the city government announced in today’s press conference on the COVID-19 situation. The man traveled to NYC from Feb 28 to Mar 10 for business and said he wore a mask whenever he went out. He left the US on the 11th, flew through Hong Kong, and landed in Beijing on the 12th, passing all medical tests at the airport before going off to do a residential self-quarantine in Changping. However, he developed a fever on Mar 13, and the next day reported it to his neighborhood committee. He was transferred to the hospital where he was tested via pharyngeal swab on Mar 14, 15, 17 and 18 — each time coming up negative. On the 19th, he tested positive via a sputum test and was reconfirmed as positive yesterday. He is currently listed as being in critical condition.
  • (3/21 1.44pm) Do Any Foreigners in China Have COVID-19? Depends on how you define it — ethnically non-Chinese? Foreign passport holders? Does it even matter? We take a look at the stats here.
  • (3/20 10.19pm) Chinese Airlines to Reduce Inbound Flights: Chinese airlines will reduce the number of incoming flights into China over the coming weeks in an effort to reduce the importation of new infections, the China Daily reports. Over 1,000 inbound passenger flights are scheduled for the coming week. No specific reduction targets were given in the article.
  • (3/20 9.29pm) Beijing Calls for a Revolution in Dining Habits: Today’s Beijing city press conference on the COVID-19 situation called for a revolution in Chinese dining habits, abandoning the custom of diners taking food directly from common plates with their own chopsticks, and instead using sets of serving chopsticks (公筷 gōng kuài) and serving spoons (公勺 gōng sháo). Though the custom of using the chopsticks you eat with to take food directly from shared plates at the center of the table has been the custom for generations, officials are now suggesting this behavior be eliminated both at home and in restaurants, calling on restaurants to provide serving chopsticks/serving spoons with every meal. Officials noted that a considerable percentage of local transmissions of COVID-19 have been traced back to common meals.
  • (3/20 8.49am) Still No Opening Dates for Beijing Schools: Our sister site beijingkids is tracking reopening dates for schools in Beijing and across China, and every time they hear something (from official sources or from schools themselves, they are reporting them in this blog. To date, Beijing has not announced reopening dates, though several inland provinces are either already back or planning to restart soon, Check beijingkids daily for the latest updates.
  • (3/19 10.21pm) Four Flights to be Diverted: China’s Civil Aviation Administration officially announced this evening the first list of flights that will be diverted from landing in Beijing, according to the Global Times. They are: CA910 from Moscow to Beijing on Mar 20 will be rerouted through Tianjin; CA934 from Paris to Beijing on Mar 22, will also be routed through Tianjin; CA926 from Tokyo to Beijing from Mar 20 to Mar 22 will be routed through Hohhot; HU7976 from Toronto to Beijing on Mar 21 and Mar 22 will be routed through Taiyuan. It is unclear if this is permanent, or just test cases for these dates. All passengers will disembark and go through medical tests and customs in these destinations. Passengers that are sick will be hospitalized there; other passengers will reboard and go to Beijing.
  • (3/19 9.56pm) New Mask Regs: Well, not really all that new, as it’s pretty much been this way since the beginning, but a clarification that yes indeedie if you are outside in the open air and there is no one within 1 meter of you, feel free to let it all hang out and take off that mask. But remember to get to Point A to Point B anywhere in Beijing usually involves crossing paths with others, so bring your mask with you so you can wear it when you’re going past your apartment door staff and through gates and the like.
  • (3/19 3.32pm) Change in Who Must Quarantine in Hotels: Late last night the city government modified the policy of which international arrival passengers would be required to quarantine in a hotel vs at home. Individuals living alone were previously allowed to quarantine at home; this exception has now been rescinded. The remaining exceptions are for people considered “not suitable” for quarantining in a hotel, which currently includes such people as those over 70 or those under 14 (and one caretaker), as well as people with chronic illnesses. Please note that these rules appear to be open to interpretation at this point.
  • (3/19 10.43am) Imported Caseload Doubles in Three Days: 21 new infections were reported yesterday in Beijing, all from people flying in from overseas. Twenty of the passengers came in from European countries and one from South America. That raises Beijing’s total new imported infection count to 64, over 13% of the city’s total infection count to date. A mere three days ago, the number of imported infections stood at 31.
  • (3/18 11.53pm) Inbound Beijing Flights to be Diverted? Truth be told, we’re not sure — reliable news sources on both sides have different takes on whether inbound international flights operated by Chinese airlines will be diverted to airports outside of Beijing. Here’s what we know so far.
  • (3/18 4.29pm) New One Day Record: 11 Imports:  Beijing has now switched to releasing new infection counts twice daily, covering midnight-noon and noon-midnight, and along with it, they’ve reported that today in the first half of the day we’ve already hit a new daily high in imported infections with 11: 5 from Spain, 4 from UK, 1 from Brazil and 1 from Luxembourg. Beijing is now clearly the “leader” in imported infections, with more than any other area of China. Beijing’s 54 imports now represent 11.8% of the city’s entire infection count of 458.
  • (3/18 10.01am) The Endless Creativity of China’s Anti-Virus Propaganda Banners: During the battle with COVID-19, China’s literati wannabes have found their calling, unleashing their endless creativity seemingly overnight with slogans hung alongside streets, in front of neighborhoods, and pinned to otherwise bare, drab walls across the country. Read some of them here.
  • (3/17 9.47pm) Australian Fired for Disobeying Quarantine: An Australian executive of Bayer has been fired for disobeying quarantine at home, the Global Times reports. A video of her went viral earlier this week, showing her ignoring warnings from local building management that she was not allowed to leave her apartment for 14 days. She, however, insisted on going jogging, at which point building management told her that she should at least be wearing a mask. She refused, even at one point screaming “jiu ming!” (save me) and “sao rao!” (I am being molested)! Watch the outburst here.
  • (3/17 11.56am) CBA Plans Return: At a time when professional sports around the world have ground to a halt, the Chinese Basketball Association is planning a return to action, according to the Beijing News. Their current plan has the league starting up again in mid-April, but with only limited fans in attendance and all games played in two cities: Qingdao and Dongguan. All will be televised. The league has 40 foreign players, the most prominent of which is Jeremy Lin, who plays for the Beijing Ducks. Beijing’s other team – the Beijing Royal Fighters – is coached by former NBA star and Beijing Ducks legend Stephon Marbury. Foreign players have already been asked to return to conduct the required 14-day quarantines.
  • (3/17 8.01am) Beijing Subway Running at 20 Percent Capacity: Beijing’s notoriously congested subway line is running at only 20 percent of its normal capacity, according to news reports. During yesterday’s morning commute, only two lines – Line 15 and the Batong Line – exceeded 50 percent capacity.
  • (3/16 8.57pm) Xiaotangshan Hospital Reopens: Changping’s Xiaotangshan Hospital, built in an astounding seven days to deal with patients during 2003’s SARS crisis but mothballed in the interim, is now back in service and ready to both quarantine and treat up to 1000 patients. This time around they spent about six weeks on the construction, starting in late January. China Daily reports the facility will be used to “observe and treat travelers who are at high risk of infection, following up on airport screenings.”
  • (3/16 6.01pm) Two Exceptions to Collective Quarantine: Today’s city government press conference clarified the two conditions under which people will be allowed to do their 14-day quarantine at home: (1) the elderly over the age of 70; minors; pregnant women; and those suffering from basic diseases and other reasons that are not suitable for concentrated observation; (2) those that have a separate residence and no other co-residents. No further details were offered at the press conference. If and when we hear more, we’ll clarify.
  • (3/16 4.19pm) Dining Out v3.0: Having just released its third round of guidelines this weekend, the government hopes to set the record straight as to what you can and can’t do should you wish to adventure out for a little fresh air and a restaurant-cooked meal.
  • (3/16 2.31pm) Four More Imports: There were 4 new infections reported in Beijing yesterday, all imported again. In fact, out of 16 new infections yesterday nationwide, 4 were local transmissions in Wuhan, all the rest were imported. Some positive news: 13 of Beijing’s 16 districts have not had a new case of local transmission in over 2 weeks. Pinggu never had any, Yanqing (hasn’t had a case in 52 days); Mentougou (42 days); Huairou (38 days); Shunyi (36 days); Miyun (33 days); Shijingshan (31 days); Daxing (31 days); Fangshan (28 days); Changping (27 days); Xicheng (25 days); Tongzhou (25 days); Haidian 14 (days).

Mar 9 – 15

  • (3/15 11.22pm) No More Home Quarantine for Overseas Arrivals As of midnight tonight, everyone arriving in Beijing from overseas will now be required to do a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated location at their own expense, the city government announced at its press conference at 4pm today.
  • (3/15 12.17pm) Stories from Beijing’s Front Lines: We’ve already profiled 22 Beijing folks on how they’re dealing with the outbreak in our Beijing Bunker series. How about your story? If you have an interesting experience to share, send an email to and tell us about it.
  • (3/14 9.16pm) Latest Virus Import Couldn’t Get Tested in the US: Beijing’s latest imported infection is a Chinese woman who became ill in her adopted home of Massachusetts. She told officials here that US doctors did not give her a COVID-19 test despite her showing symptoms and making multiple trips to the hospital. The woman attended a meeting of the Biogen corporation in late February which was the source of Boston’s biggest cluster case to date and started developing symptoms on Mar 1. On Mar 3 she went to the hospital and was given an antiviral drug. Her condition did not improve and she made follow-up visits on Mar 5, Mar 10 and Mar 11, eventually showing symptoms of pneumonia. Nevertheless she was not admitted to the hospital nor was she ever given a coronavirus test. She and her husband and child decided to come back Mar 12, flying from boston to LA and arrived in Beijing in the early morning of Mar 13. One hour after boarding she complained of feeling sick and she was put in the back of the flight in an area cordoned off with curtains, where she remained for the duration of the flight. Upon arrival in Beijing she was admitted directly to the hospital, where she tested positive. She is currently under treatment and her husband and child are in quarantine.
  • (3/14 5.34pm) MOE: Universities to Return Only After Lower Grades: China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday that K-12 schools will be the first to reopen once COVID-19 is sufficiently contained, with universities to follow sometime after. Just to give you a feel for the challenge the ministry faces, the resumption of school involves the movement of around 300 million students, some returning not just to neighborhood schools, but across cities and even provinces. An estimated 1/4 of all of China’s 40 million college students attend school outside their home province.
  • (3/14 12.32pm) Beijing’s Death Rate About 2%: What percentage of those diagnosed with COVID-19 in Beijing have Died? Depends on how you calculate it. As of today, there as been 437 total infections; 8 people have died; 349 have left the hospital, and 80 remain under treatment. We could look at Deaths / Total Infections (8/437) and conclude 1.8%. This ignores the 80 people who are still under treatment. If we look only at decided cases (Deaths / [Deaths + Total Recovered]) we get 8/(349+8) = 2.2%. A third way of looking at this is: use this data that showed the median illness duration for survivors was 22 days (for fatalities it was 18.5 days). Thus we can look at the number of people hospitalized as of 22 days ago in Beijing — 396 — and divide deaths by that, giving us 8/396 or an even 2.0%.
  • (3/14 9.59am) Another Beijing Import: One new infection was reported in Beijing yesterday, another import, this time flying in from the US. Meanwhile 7 people came out of treatment from local hospitals. Four suspected cases were also listed in today’s report, again all imports (US 2, Italy 1, Spain 1).
  • (3/13 10.20pm) Shunyi Expo Center Being Used to Process Inbound Passengers: We’ve known since Wednesday that the expo center in Shunyi is now being used as a sort of processing center for incoming international passengers — however, do date we’re unlcear on which flights are being sent there and which flights are allowed to go home straight from the airport. We’ve set up a simple survey here to collect data. If you arrived in Beijing after Thursday, please let us know here.
  • (3/13 9.27am) One New Infection Today, Flying in from the UK: One new infection was reported in Beijng yesterday, another import, this time from the UK. Meanwhile, 8 people were released from Beijing hospitals. Of nine new “suspected” cases (aka still awaiting test results), 8 are imported: 3 from Netherlands, 2 from Italy, 1 each from Korea, France and Austria.
  • (3/12 3.46pm) Cannon’s Becomes Second Known Coronavirus F&B Victim: Cannon’s Burgers, which rose to meteoric fame three years ago, placing second in our annual Burger Cup, has apparently closed up shop, the second known outlet to have closed for good during the COVID-19 outbreak. Its shopfront on Xingfucun is now gutted and a for rent sign hangs in the window. Sadly, we don’t expect to see them back. Founder Will Cannon, who has not been part of the day-to-day since moving away from Beijing, has been reached for comment but no reply yet.
  • (3/12 3.32pm) Gyms, Pools Remain Closed: Fitness facilities are still closed until further notice as per the directive of city government officials. Don’t be lazy though — npw’s the time to switch to an online-based fitness regiment.
  • (3/12 9.26am) Beijing Education Commission Nixes Reopening Rumor: A rumor that Beijing’s schools would begin reopening April 6 was shot down last night by the Beijing Education Commission, who has stated that it’s still too early to say. Meanwhile, four of China’s provinces have officially named starting dates for later this month. Our sister brand Beijingkids is updating all information we hear from official sources and Beijing schools themselves here.
  • (3/12 12.35am) Mom and Three Children Amongst Newest Virus Imports: Four of the five new infections that were imported from Italy yesterday were all from the same family and traveled while ill, the Beijing News reports. The Qiu family — mom, dad and three children — are all expat residents of the northern Italian town of Bergamo hailing from Zhejiang. They run a bar there that closed for business on Feb 17. Schools were closed Feb 22, and Mr Qiu started feeling sick on Feb 27. He was eventually hospitalized on Mar 4 (where he remains to date), and on that same day Mrs Qiu began feeling sick. On Mar 8 she packed her children up and headed for Beijing, flying from Milan to Beijing via Abu Dhabi, landing on Mar 9. All four were showing symptoms upon arrival at the airport, and were confirmed as infected on Mar 10. They are currently being treated in local hospitals and are in stable condition.
  • (3/11 9.20pm) Everybody’s Favorite Hot Pot Reopens Tomorrow (But Not in Beijing): China’s preeminent hot pot chain Haidilao will reopen 85 of its restaurants in 15 cities tomorrow. Unfortunately that does not include Beijing for now, but it’s a good sign that we’ll likely see them reopen soon here. Haidilao shut their doors Jan 26 and restarted home delivery only in portions of the country on Feb 15.
  • (3/11 7.55pm) OK We’re Back to “Everyone Quarantines”: After 19 days of back and forth (and major inroads by the virus in multiple countries), we’re back to: Everyone coming to Beijing must do a quarantine.
  • (3/11 1.12pm) Overseas Imports Now the #1 Source of New Infections: Since Feb 29, 19 of Beijing’s 25 reported new infections — or 76 percent — are people returning from overseas (specifically Italy, Iran, Spain, the UK and the US). Nationalities of these returnees were not given.
  • (3/11 12.23pm) Beijing’s Largest Cluster Case Cleared: The Fuxing Hospital outbreak, which we first reported on below on Feb 7, is 100% cleared as of today, the Beijing News reports. The outbreak peaked at 34 cases on Feb 21 and threatened to be a major cluster case. All those that had close contact with the 34 have now cleared quarantine and no new cases have been reported for 21 days.
  • (3/11 12:09pm) Arrivals Now Processed in Special Wing of Airport: All those arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport from overseas are now being routed through one terminal to take detailed records of their health, where they’ve been, and where they are headed. Here’s what to expect.
  • (3/10 3.05pm) When the Going Gets Tough, Comptoirs Gets Going: Our sister brand Beijingkids spoke with the man behind one of our favorite bakeries to find out why it will take more than this crisis to see him abandon his business and the city he loves.
  • (3/10 8.46am) Students Warned to Stay Away: Multiple foreign students in Beijing’s universities who are now outside the country report warned to stay away for now or face consequences.
  • (3/9 8.10pm) Foreign Residents Asked for Their Cooperation: The city government took considerable time during today’s COVID-19 press conference to call on foreigners to take the quarantine seriously, reminding them to minimize unnecessary outings and abide by community standards, and that foreigners and Chinese will be treated the same in this regard.
  • (3/9 9.06am): Back to Zero: No new cases in Beijing were reported yesterday, with seven exiting the hospital. Less than 1/4 of the 428 diagnosed patients remain under treatment. A total of 8 patients, or 1.9 percent, have died. Today’s zero is the sixth time in the last 16 days where no new infections have been reported.

Mar 2 – 8

  • (3/8 12.17pm) So How Many People Can Be Seated at One Table? Beijing foodies and restaurants have been thrown for a loop after a press conference last week that suggested restaurants limit seating to one person per table.
  • (3/7 9.01pm) Sick Travelers Under Investigation: Two Chinese families returning from Italy are under investigation for putting others at risk by disguising their symptoms while traveling, the Beijing News reports. Two siblings and their respective families, a total of eight persons, landed in Beijing Mar 4. Four are now confirmed as infected. The two siblings, long term expatriate residents of Italy, began exhibiting symptoms before the end of February while still in Italy. Before boarding the flight, they took medicine to hide their symptoms. Further investigation demonstrated that members of the families did not truthfully answer questions on the necessary Health Declaration Card upon arrival.
  • (3/7 5.05pm) Marbury Urges Caution: American Stephon Marbury, the former NBA star turned Beijing Ducks hero, hopes his fellow countrymen take the coronavirus as seriously as China has. Marbury, coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters in the currently suspended CBA, is in New York for the premiere of a documentary on his career called A Kid from Coney Island.
  • (3/7 4.31pm) A Moving Issue: What are you supposed to do if your lease is up during this whole affair? The Beijing Real Estate Association offers some guidance that might help you deal with your landlord.
  • (3/7 1.46pm) First Mainland High Schoolers Head Back to Campus: High School seniors in Qinghai will become the first mainland students back to class when they report to school Mar 11. Keep up with all school announcements in this post on our sister site Beijingkids, updated daily.
  • (3/7 10.02am) Overseas Returnees Now the Primary Source of New Infections Since Feb 29, Beijing has reported 15 new infections, and 11 of them are people coming back from overseas. That’s 73 percent.
  • (3/7 9.30am) Ever Have One of Those Bad Days? Beijing had one yesterday. Four new infections were reported, three are returnees from Italy, and the fourth is someone who was cleared of the virus once, but now has tested positive again. The person was first admitted to the hospital Feb 6, but was released on Feb 20 after three consecutive tests showed he had been cleared of the virus. Due to “limited conditions in the home,” the patient was released to a centralized quarantine facility for a 14-day observation, and on March 5 once again tested positive.
  • (3/6 10.14pm) So What to Expect When Flying Into Beijing? Hey AWOL Beijingers: want to know what flying back into Beijing is going to be like? These are some of the things you can expect to encounter along the way, based on our first-hand experience this afternoon.
  • (3/6 5.52pm) Almost a Million Beijingers Under Quarantine: There are currently 827,000 recent returnees to the city under 14-day quarantine, the city government announced at today’s press conference on the coronavirus outbreak. Spokesperson Zhang Tongjun said the city has entered its most critical epidemic control period and must work together to not let their guard down and maintain the discipline exhibited over recent weeks. Most of these are under self-administered home quarantine in their residence, while those suspected of being ill and those that do not have a regular residence in Beijing are quarantined in specially-designated hotels and hospital isolation wards.
  • (3/6 3.44pm) Will Movie Theaters Reopen Soon? Guidelines for how movie theaters should operate have been set, but operators say it might be a long while yet. China Film Insider has the deets.
  • (3/6 2:44pm) Arrivals Quarantined at “a Chinese Facility”? A US State Department advisory aimed at American travelers has unnerved a few Beijing expats who are still overseas. In it, the US said that all travelers to Beijing (as well as Shanghai, Guangdong, and Sichuan) who have recently visited a country with severe outbreaks would be quarantined “in a Chinese facility”. This is true only if you are a traveler and do not have a fixed address (see this document from the Beijing Foreign Affairs Office). Otherwise, you will be allowed to do your quarantine at home. Keep in mind that if you are ill you will be going directly to a hospital for quarantine, and if you are sitting near someone who ends up being reported as infected, you will be quarantined away from home as well, most likely at a hotel.
  • (3/5 9.13pm) More Inbound Restrictions to Come? With mandatory 14-day quarantines now required of all arrivals from outbreak-stricken areas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today hinted that this list could be expanded at any time. Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said during today’s press briefing that China, like all other countries, is taking measures to prevent and control the epidemic. “As the outbreak progresses, local governments in China will make timely and dynamic adjustments to the prevention and control mechanisms aimed at those coming from outside of China,” he said.
  • (3/5 8.55pm) I’ll Take a Reservation for Rush Hour, Please: Tomorrow morning the Beijing Subway rolls out an experimental method of limiting close contact with other commuters by requiring digital reservations on two stations during rush hours: Line 5’s Tiantongyuan and Shahe station on the Changping line. No word on whether they will expand the system to other stations later. Finer details are available in English here and you can scan one of these QRs to make your reservation.
  • (3/5 2.20pm) Schools Advise Students, Teachers Abroad to Stay Away: With COVID-19 now spreading more rapidly overseas than inside China, many teachers and students who are currently outside of Beijing have received messages from their schools advising them not to return until a formal reopening date for schools is announced, our sister site Beijingkids reports.
  • (3/5 2.30am) Average Age of Those Killed by COVID-19 in Beijing: 79 Of the eight deaths that have been attributed to COVID-19 Beijing so far, 7 have been over 70 years old and suffered from serious underlying diseases, Ditan Hospital VP Zhou Jianxin said yesterday. Amongst the illnesses suffered by the victims were hypertension, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The overall average age of the deceased was 79. The specific age of the victim under 70 was not given.
  • (3/4 11.55am) Not Their First Rodeo: Not only did SARS fail to destroy Beijing in 2003, it didn’t manage to scare away all its expats, either. We’ve asked five of them – all of whom are now business owners in the city – to tell us their tales of then and now.
  • (3/4 9.06am) Foreign Returnees from Outbreak-Hit Areas Must Do Quarantine: Reversing a decision made 11 days ago, the city has now says that foreigners returning from countries that have seen “severe” outbreaks will now need to be quarantined for 14 days. We say: don’t worry about if you have to, just do it.
  • (3/3 12.49pm) Stories from Beijing’s Front Lines: We’ve already profiled 17 Beijing folks on how they’re dealing with the outbreak in our Beijing Bunker series. How about your story? If you have an interesting experience to share, send an email to and tell us about it.
  • (3/3 10.07am) Beijing On Pace to be Clear by Mid-Month: Beijing reported zero new infections yesterday and 6 new recoveries. For the 19th day in a row, the number of recovered patients coming out of Beijing hospitals has outpaced the number of newly infected patients going in. During that span, 48 new patients entered, and 220 recovered – or a net daily decrease in patients under treatment of 11.6. If this pace continues (and given there are only 118 patients remaining under care), we could be looking at all patients being out of the hospital in a mere 11 days.
  • (3/2 10.40pm) Only 12 Percent Back to Regular Office Work: The vast majority of employed expatriates in Beijing continue to work from home, according to a poll the Beijinger conducted over WeChat Friday. Read the full results of our poll here.
  • (3/2 2.43pm) Fuxing Hospital Outbreak Update: We’ve been following the outbreak at Xicheng’s Fuxing Hospital since Feb 3, when a cluster of 9 cases was reported that had grown to 34 by Feb 20, representing the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing. As of yesterday afternoon (Mar 1), no new infections have been reported and the number of those who are still under observation dropped to 35.
  • (3.2 12.30pm) Second Aeroflot Flight Quarantined, This Time Partially: For the second time in three days, Flight 204 from Moscow has been stopped on the tarmac to whisk sick passengers away and quarantine others. After landing on Saturday, a Chinese citizen who was traveling from Iran was discovered to be infected and all 400 passengers were quarantined at area hotels. No word yet on whether any infections have been found on today’s flight.
  • (3.2 12.15am) All Visas Extended by Two Months: All foreigners in China whose visas are due to expire during the COVID-19 outbreak will be granted an automatic two-month extension, the State Council announced yesterday. No additional paperwork is necessary for the extension, and foreigners may exit the country as normal for up to two months after the expiration date of their current visa. The extension apparently applies to all visa types, and no deadline was given for the end date of the policy. For a Chinese statement on the rule from the National Immigration Administration, see this link. We suggest that if your visa is expiring, contact the Bureau of Entry and Exit at 8402 0101.

Feb 24 – Mar 1

  • (3/1 11.29pm) 400 Quarantined After Landing in Beijing: Approximately 400 people – including around 20 foreigners – were quarantined upon arrival after landing on a flight from Moscow that had one infected passenger on board.
  • (3.1 4.17pm) Italian Instagrammer’s Hotel Quarantine: An Italian Instagrammer is vlogging her quarantine at an unnamed Beijing hotel. According to her videos (click on her profile video to watch), her plane arrived last night and allegedly all 400 passengers have been put into a 14-day quarantine (which, she adds, the city is paying for). The origin city of the plane was not mentioned. We’ve reached out for further details but have not heard back.
  • (3/1 10.55am) Latest Cases Came in from Abroad: Two more coronavirus infections were reported yesterday in Beijing, with the qualification that they both came from overseas (though no mention of their nationality or when they entered Beijing was given). Meanwhile, five have been released. Beijing’s current case total is 413, with 8 deaths and 276 released. That leaves 129 people – or 31 percent – remaining in treatment in Beijing hospitals.
  • (3/1 9.20am) Beijing Victims Mostly Over 60: Of the 8 reported victims of COVID-19 so far in Beijing, 7 of them were over 60 and 1 was between the ages of 18 and 59, the Beijing Youth Daily reported yesterday. No specific ages of the deceased were released.
  • (2/29 7.03pm) Beijing Children’s Hospital Reports Progress: At the city’s daily press briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak, Beijing’s Children’s Hospital in Xicheng reported that since they started examining possible coronavirus patients on Jan 20, only one infected patient has been discovered. The hospital has averaged about 2400 visits daily. Among those, 191 had symptoms that dictated follow-up testing for COVID-19. Of those, 165 have been ruled out while 26 remain under observation as possible cases.
  • (2/29 2.46pm) Schools to Stagger Opening by Grades: Though no specific dates of reopening have been made for Beijing schools, the Ministry of Education suggested yesterday that schools would stagger reopening dates by grade. Our sister publication beijingkids has the story.
  • (2/29 11.23am) After a Scary Bump, New Infections Drop Back Down in Beijing: The 10 infections that were reported in Beijing from Feb 26 got us scared for a minute that we were trending upwards, but the last two days have calmed us down a bit: There were no new infections reported Thursday and only 1 from Friday. However, during that period three more deaths were reported in Beijing, raising the city’s death total to 8, which represents 1.9 percent of the city’s overall 411 reported cases. Over the last two days, 30 people have been released from the hospital, meaning less than a third (132 people) remain in treatment.
  • (2/28 1.40pm) Beijing Parks Begin Limiting Access:  Though almost every park in Beijing remains open, some have started limiting the number of people entering each day. Chaoyang Park will limit tickets to 20,000 per day to control the park from getting too crowded, the Beijing Youth Daily reported. Meanwhile, tickets to the Summer Palace are no longer being sold on-site and must be reserved one day in advance via their WeChat account (search “颐和园” in WeChat).
  • (2/28 1.20pm) COVID-19 Claims its First Beijing F&B Casualty: Beijing’s one and only Moroccan restaurant/live music venue slash sports bar has closed its doors for good, citing the current uncertain business environment as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
  • (2/27 12.42pm) Beijing Setback: Ten new cases were reported in Beijing yesterday, the highest daily total in over two weeks. All 10 worked at the same government office in Chaoyang or lived in the agency’s on-site dormitory, and are assumed to have contracted the virus from one coworker who was admitted to the hospital on Feb 23. All close contacts of this person were tested, and results released yesterday showed that 10 had been infected. A further 178 people who had contact with the infected patient remain under observation.
  • (2/27 9.55am) Wuhan Ex-Con Turns Up Sick in Dongcheng Chinese netizens are perplexed how a recently released prisoner from Wuhan was allowed to travel to Beijing, where she was admitted to a hospital Monday. According to the Global Times, the woman recently completed her sentence had been exhibiting symptoms since Feb 18 in Wuhan. She was driven back to Beijing by her family, where she took up residence at her family’s home in Xinyi Jiayuan (新怡家园), just west of the New Century Department Store near Chongwenmen. She is now in a hospital in Beijing and her family and close contacts are under quarantine.
  • (2/26 11.31pm) Fuxing Hospital Outbreak Under Control: The outbreak at Xicheng’s Fuxing Hospital, the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing, appears to be under control, according to the Beijing Youth Daily. The hospital first reported a cluster of 9 cases on Feb 3 and one ward was immediately put under quarantine. Two weeks later, the number of cases had risen to 34. As of 5pm yesterday, five days since the lifting of the quarantine, no new infections have been found, while 59 people who had contact with the infected are still under close observation.
  • (2/26 11.09pm) Do I Have to Do a Quarantine When I Get Back? Yes. No. Maybe. Actually there’s been so much flip-flopping over the past week we have no idea if you have to. However, you should do one whether anyone forces you or not. It’s the responsible thing to do.
  • (2/26 5.06pm) Three Out of Four Ain’t Bad For the third time in four days, there has been zero new COVID-19 infections in Beijing over the last 24-hour period. This is the 12th consecutive day where the number of recovered patients has been higher than the number of newly admitted. A total of 34 patients were admitted over the last 12 days, while 158 have recovered. This has resulted in a net decrease in patients under treatment of 124. Should this trend continue and no new major outbreaks occur, the city could be looking at having 0 patients remaining under treatment by March 12.
  • (2/26 3.16pm) Office Space: Beijing has issued new rules to prevent overcrowding in offices such as no sitting in tight little spaces across from one another.

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