Several Chinese cities to ban unvaccinated adults from schools, malls

In several cities, all residents above 18 need to get at least one dose of the vaccine by next Friday

BEIJING : Millions of Chinese people face bans from public spaces including schools, hospitals and shopping malls unless they get a Covid-19 vaccine, under new edicts covering nearly two dozen cities and counties.

The tough new rules, which follow the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant across Asia, will be imposed on numerous second-tier cities in a possible marker of what is to come for the whole country.

China has a national target of inoculating 64 per cent of its 1.4 billion population by end of the year, and new measures suggest high levels of coercion.

In Chuxiong City in the southern province of Yunnan, home to about 510,000 people, all residents above the age of 18 need to get at least one dose of the vaccine by next Friday, according to a government notice posted late Wednesday.

Those who fail to meet the deadline "will not be allowed to enter public facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, kindergartens and schools, libraries, museums and prisons, or take public transport", the notice said. A month later, two shots will be needed to enter public buildings.

Similar notices were issued by the authorities in at least a dozen cities and counties across the country, including six in eastern Jiangxi province, one in Sichuan, one in Gaungxi and three in Fujian province.

Many officials say they want to inoculate 70 to 80 per cent of the local population by September - exceeding the national target.

Tianhe county in central Henan province threatened to stop paying wages to and dismiss any state employee not inoculated by next Tuesday, according to a notice issued Monday.

At least a dozen places have stationed volunteers at government buildings, train stations and other busy public spaces to note down the names and contact information of those who are not vaccinated.

As at Tuesday, China had administered more than 1.4 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the National Health Commission said, without specifying the number of people vaccinated. - AFP