Beijing shuts dine-in services for holidays to stem outbreak

BEIJING, April 30 (BNA): Restaurants in Beijing have been ordered to close dine-in services during the May holiday as the Chinese capital struggles with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Authorities said at a news conference Saturday that dining in restaurants has become a risk of infection, citing transmission of the virus between diners and staff, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Restaurants have been ordered to offer takeout services only from Sunday to Wednesday, during the May Day holiday in China.

Beijing began mass testing millions of residents earlier this week as it sought to stem the growing COVID-19 outbreak.

The political stakes are high as the ruling Communist Party prepares for a major congress this fall as President Xi Jinping seeks a third five-year term to reassert his position as China’s undisputed leader.

Beijing authorities reported 67 new infections on Saturday, bringing the city’s total number of infections to nearly 300 since April 22.

The authorities also ordered parks, scenic areas and entertainment venues to operate at half capacity during the holiday period.

Several communities in the city’s most populous Chaoyang District have been designated as high-risk areas and will undergo mass testing on Sunday and Tuesday.

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