In their continuing efforts to manage the Covid-19 outbreak, authorities in Beijing have announced strict new rules on “uncivilised behaviour” such as coughing or sneezing without covering the mouth and sharing food from the same plate.

The city government announced the new measures on Sunday and said the aim was to promote improved hygiene.

Those who flout the new rules will be hit with fines for offences including not wearing a mask in public when ill, failing to respect one-metre distance markers, and not using separate plates for communal meals.

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The guidance said “patients with infectious diseases must honestly report their conditions, take the required tests and undergo quarantine and other medical measures,” according to a draft of the legislation published on the state-run Global Times website in March.

“According to the draft, residents are encouraged to order appropriate amounts of food, use serving chopsticks and spoons to share the dishes and eat them from separate plates,” the site said.

In an update on Sunday, the website confirmed the legislation would take effect from 1 June 2020.

It said: “Beijing announces new laws from June 1:

-cover face when coughing or sneezing in public places

-wear masks when dealing with all infectious respiratory diseases

-total ban Beijing bikini in public places.”

 

The ban on the “Beijing bikini”, refers to the widespread habit for men to roll up their t-shirts revealing their stomachs during hot weather.

In March, Sun Li, a deputy chairman of the legislative affairs committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, said the draft of the regulations should be updated in accordance with the experiences gained from epidemic prevention and control efforts, the Global Times reported.

Over 82,000 people in China have been infected by the pandemic which was first identified in the eastern city of Wuhan in Hubei province in December 2019.

Fewer than 5,000 people have died due to the virus in China, according to official figures.

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