Several local governments in China are planning to forbid unvaccinated residents from entering certain public spaces.
Authorities in Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangxi, Shanxi, and Jiangxi province have advised adult residents that they must complete their two vaccines doses, with some giving a deadline as early as the end of July. Those who fail to comply, and don’t have a medical exemption, will be unable to enter inpatient departments in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, museums, and prisons.
Although there is widespread support for vaccine distribution in China, the news of the compulsory action has not been well received. The hashtag “#Multiple provinces have announced travel restrictions to non-vaccinated citizens” (#多地通知未接种疫苗将影响出行) has gained 3.4 million views and 21,000 comments on Weibo.
“Unreasonable. Some people cannot be vaccinated due to sickness, it feels like being under house arrest.”
“The state has always emphasised ‘voluntary’ vaccination, which has become mandatory vaccination in disguise.”
“Local governments can adopt various policies to encourage everyone to be vaccinated, but using policies to restrict those who have not been vaccinated is unreasonable.”Comments from netizens
While China has largely controlled the virus effectively, it has seen some local outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns. Authorities have been issuing the country’s own Sinovac vaccines since last December, and have so far given out 1.4 billion doses as of 13 July.