Thousands of people took to the streets of China’s capital on Sunday for the return of the Beijing Marathon after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus.
Authorities are trying to restore a sense of normalcy while sticking to a “zero-COVID” strategy that locks down neighbourhoods when any virus cases are found and quarantines everyone arriving from overseas in hotels for seven to 10 days.
Participation was limited to city residents, apart from some invited runners. China’s state media said that 30,000 people took part in the event that began under smoggy skies in central Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Participants had to be vaccinated, not leave Beijing for seven days before the event and were required to take PCR tests for the three days leading up to the race.
Marathons are also planned later this month in Shanghai and Chengdu.