Beijing is requiring visitors travelling from low-risk areas across China to present a negative Covid-19 test result before entry. 

The Beijing city government said the new measure, which comes just days before what is typically the country’s peak festive season, will take effect until March 15. Visitors from high- and medium-risk areas remain barred from the Chinese capital.

Testing must occur within seven days prior to entry into the city, according to the new regulations. Travellers will also be required to monitor their health and undergo further testing on the seventh and 14th day following their arrival in Beijing, reported Reuters.

Earlier this month, the Chinese government discouraged domestic travel over the Lunar New Year holidays, citing the increased risk of Covid-19 outbreaks.

In recent days, cities including Tonghua, with a population of two million in northeast China, have gone into lockdown as a handful of cases emerged.

Companies have also taken matters into their own hands, encouraging workers not to return to their hometowns which are often in rural parts of China. Employers are offering incentives such as overtime pay and subsidies, as well as food and accommodation, according to China Daily.

Additionally, some employees of state-owned enterprises and government agencies have been instructed not to travel without management approval, reported Reuters.