Chinese authorities in a number of counties nationwide plan to bar residents who have not been vaccinated from entering indoor entertainment venues, like cinemas, as part of its attempt to significantly ramp up its vaccination campaign.

Policies restricting the movement and entry of unvaccinated people will been rolled out in various places around the country throughout the month of July. 

Chinese cinemas have been operating at 75% capacity since re-opening nationwide in July 2020 after the worst of the pandemic. Cinemas were shuttered again for nearly a month in Guangzhou, the capital of China’s top movie-going province Guangdong, before reopening earlier this month after an outbreak there of the new, more transmissible coronavirus variants.

Though regulations vary slightly region to region, unvaccinated people over age 18 will in most cases also be barred from venues such as theaters, KTVs, museums, cultural centers, shopping malls, internet cafes, libraries, hotels, high-speed rail stations, government agencies, medical facilities, schools, nursing homes, libraries, supermarkets and prisons. 

Venues will check entrants’ “health code,” which ensures a clean bill of health, as well as their vaccination record before allowing entry. Citizens with preconditions that preclude vaccination must present their IDs and medical documents to their local hospital to obtain a certificate of proof that their reason is legitimate, which will exempt them from the restrictions. 

Vaccination efforts got off to a slow start in China, where many people initially felt the jab would be unnecessary since life had more or less returned to normal through most of the past year given the country’s  effective control of the virus. 

China had administered more than a billion doses as of late June, according to its National Health Commission. Back in March, a top NHC expert had stated the country would seek to fully vaccinate 40% of population by the end of June.