A woman walks past as a couple poses for wedding photos outside St Joseph's Church in Beijing. AFP/Greg Baker
BEIJING - Beijing officials told residents to postpone weddings and keep funeral ceremonies short, as disease controls across China were tightened just months before the Winter Olympics kicks off in the capital.
The world's most populous nation has reduced infection numbers to a trickle since its initial epidemic last spring thanks to a zero-tolerance approach of border closures, targeted lockdowns and long quarantine periods.
But China is now grappling with flare-ups in a dozen regions linked to tourists, spurring officials to order millions to stay home, restrict inter-provincial travel and ramp up testing.
Residents should "postpone weddings, keep funerals brief, don't organise banquets, and reduce unnecessary gatherings", deputy chief of the city's disease control centre Pang Xinghuo said at a Friday press conference.
Tourist spots will further limit capacity, while the newly opened Universal Studios resort will enter a "state of emergency epidemic prevention", said Beijing's deputy publicity chief Xu Hejian, without giving further details.