(CNA): Beijing residents will need clear COVID-19 tests to enter public spaces, officials said on Saturday (Apr 30), announcing fresh virus controls at the start of a Labour Day holiday muted by creeping infections in the capital.

The five-day break is typically one of China's busiest travel periods, but the country's worst COVID-19 resurgence since early in the pandemic is expected to keep people home.

Faced with the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Chinese officials have doubled down on their zero-COVID policy, quashing virus clusters through mass testing and lockdowns.

Despite mounting economic costs and public frustration, the capital city announced it would further restrict access to public spaces after the holiday period.

Starting May 5, a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past week will be needed to enter "all kinds of public areas and to take public transport", according to a notice on the city's official WeChat page.

For activities such as sporting events and group travel, participants will also need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours, along with proof of "full vaccination", according to the new rules.