Beijing authorities on Friday said that it pulling back plans to widen the reopening of businesses in the city, including cinemas, according to a China news website.
The authorities made the announcement after three new coronavirus cases were discovered in the capital.
Beijing found its first COVID-19 case in nearly two months on Thursday — a Xicheng district resident who had not left the city in the past two weeks.
A day later, two more infected people surfaced. The patients were coworkers at a meat research center and also had no recent contact with anyone who had traveled overseas. However, one of them traveled to the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao for a five-day business trip before falling ill.
Fearing a second wave of infections, Chinese officials have come down hard, closing off communities where the new infected lived. Residents there are also subject to temperature checks, and authorities are working to disinfect public locations and implement a track and trace program.
Likewise, all sporting events are on hold, and schools that were to reopen Monday will no longer welcome back students.
Six wholesale markets visited by the afflicated patients were also ordered closed, and group meals in restaurants are banned.
At the presser, Beijing officials urged the city to boost its prevention efforts, saying that cinemas, KTVs and other indoor entertainment venues should temporarily remain shut, according to the Beijing News.
Chinese cinemas have been shut due to COVID-19 since late January, with thousands going bankrupt since. The country’s top administrative body, the State Council, said on May 8 that entertainment venues including cinemas could resume work, but no local directives to do so ever emerged, leaving cinemas vacant and in limbo.
Although this new Beijing directive only applies to the capital, it indicates that the official winds are not blowing in favor of re-opening cinemas at this time. This will likely make other regions wary of resuming business even if they are currently at low coronavirus risk.