China issues guidelines on wearing masks in public places as country enters prevention, control stage

2020-05-09 08:50:16Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

Chinese central government Friday issued guidelines on normalized epidemic prevention and control measures, including requirements on wearing masks in public places, promotion of health codes and allowing entertainment places to reopen with a reservation system and client-limiting measures.

The guidelines were released on the website of the State Council, China's cabinet. The State Council said that epidemic prevention and control work in China has transferred from emergency response to a normalized stage, so these guidelines were released to safeguard the full resumption of economic and social order. 

Key places, including cinemas, libraries and museums should be reopened with a reservation system and measures to limit clients. Supermarkets, malls and hotels will also be allowed to fully reopen to the public with proper epidemic prevention and control measures, the guidelines said. 

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, cinemas and theaters across China were required to shut down at the end of January. Media reported that the Chinese film industry will suffer a loss of more than 30 billion yuan ($4 billion) this year. 

The same day the guidelines were issued, the National Library of China announced its reopening on May 12. People must reserve ahead of time, and only 1,200 people will be allowed a day. They also have to wear masks and accept temperature tests before getting in. People whose temperature is higher than 37.3 C will be turned away. 

The State Council's guidelines also clarified requirements on wearing masks in public places, and called on the public to develop hygiene habits like social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands often and using serving chopsticks.   

It said people should wear masks in crowded places where the distance between each other is less than one meter. Medical workers, patients going to see a doctor, and people who work in closed areas like security guards, cleaners and police officers should wear masks. 

Health codes, which indicate the health condition of Chinese people and affect whether people can move freely in the country, will be used. The results of people's nucleic acid and antibody tests and the information of some key groups will be shared through the health code system to ensure safe population mobility, the guidelines said. 

The guidelines also vowed to promote COVID-19 vaccine and drug development as well as research on virus mutations and immunity strategies. It also called for enhancement on cooperation and communication with international organizations and countries. 

School employees and students have to report their health condition on a daily basis. Classrooms should be disinfected and people who are absent because of illness have to clarify what illness they suffered, according to the guidelines.  

In communities, grid management should be enhanced and, if necessary, closed-off management and measures to limit aggregate activities, the guidelines added.  


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