According to online footage reposted by Radio Free Assia on April 27, Beijing residents were flocking out of the city as of late April 26, after the authorities banned non-essential travel.

A person said in the video, “They’re scared. Taking their luggage and leaving.”

The attempts are stopped short as local police blocked the roads away from the city. According to a person by the surname Ye, that includes the main roads to neighboring Hebei province.

Resident Zhang Hong told RFA that some middle- and high-income groups have already left before. He supposed that some officials may have forewarned their close friends and families about the lockdown.

Zhang said, “A lot of people have left because of issues with the government’s restrictions … now that a lot of them, both big and small, have seen the light of day.”

He added, “Shanghai is one example, where we saw people jumping off buildings due to starvation.”

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