Passengers wait in an orderly fashion to board a train at Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan on the morning of April 8, 2020. (Photo by Zhang Zheng/for chinadaily.com.cn)
Strengthening its COVID-19 screening effort, Beijing is requiring people who had been stranded in Hubei province — the initial epicenter of the outbreak — to undergo at least two tests for the coronavirus, one before leaving Hubei and the other after arriving in the capital.
A 14-day mandatory quarantine is also required, either at home or at a designated site, for people returning from the beleaguered province, the city’s anti-virus leading group decided on Tuesday.
The measures are being rolled out after Wuhan, China’s hardest-hit city and Hubei's capital, lifted traffic controls on Wednesday and reopened after a 76-day lockdown.
According to estimates, more than 55,000 passengers in 276 trains will leave the city on Wednesday, Beijing News reported. Travelers who left Wuhan for the Pearl River Delta accounted for the majority, about 40 percent of all passengers leaving the city by train on Wednesday.
People who took the train from Wuhan to Beijing were not able to purchase tickets directly from the 12306 online ticket-booking platform and were required to apply through an online mini program on WeChat first, Beijing News reported.
Earlier, the Beijing municipal government gave notice that all returnees from Hubei must apply on Jingxinxiangzhu, a WeChat mini program, if they want to go to the capital. After being approved, returnees can purchase train tickets or drive.