Special approval was required for all movement outside the home, it said.
After months of restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, China has reported a decline in domestic cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. On Wednesday, the National Health Commission reported 36 new infections — all but one imported cases.
Chinese leaders are eager to restart the economy but have stressed that it must be balanced with containment measures.
During his recent inspection trip to Zhejiang province, President Xi Jinping emphasised that China must take careful steps to get life back to normal and warned officials to ensure “no loopholes” to prevent a return of the epidemic that has sickened more than 82,000 and killed over 3,300 people in mainland China alone.
According to the Jia county notice, residents must have special permits to leave their home and must have their temperature taken and wear face masks for those trips.
All businesses have been shut down, except utilities, medical suppliers, logistics companies and food processing firms. All shops except supermarkets, hospitals, food markets, petrol stations, pharmacies and hotels have been closed.
In addition, only people with special permits can go to work and cars can only be used on alternate days, depending on their plate number.
China imposed draconian measures in Wuhan — the initial epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic — in January, sealing off the city of 11 million people to prevent the disease from spreading. An official of the county’s transport office confirmed the county had been put in virtual isolation.
“It’s better not to come to Jia county now,” the official said. “Nobody can enter or leave.”
Local residents contacted on Wednesday said they were notified by the government about the lockdown.
Wang Xiao, 23, said she was told by her village on Tuesday afternoon.
She said the authorities urged residents to stock up on vegetables and daily necessities to prepare for the isolation, adding that each family could also assign one member to go out for groceries once every two days.