Chinese National Day: Hundreds of millions of people go on vacation at the same time after Corona 19

Chinese National Day: Hundreds of millions of people go on vacation at the same time after Corona 19

Hong Kong (CNN) — China is moving again. By October 1st, hundreds of millions of people are expected to pack highways, trains, and planes for a national holiday vacation, one of the busiest times to travel in the world’s most populous country.

The 8-day vacation is a major public holiday in China. Corona virus Occur. Life has largely returned to normal in recent months, but the upcoming “Golden Week” vacation will be an ambitious test of whether China has succeeded in taming the virus, and will greatly await economic recovery.
Gun last year 782 million domestic travel According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, during the vacation period, it generated almost 650 billion yuan (US$ 95 billion) of tourism income.

On the national day of 2019, tourists crowd the Great Buddha of Leshan, Sichuan Province, China.

Liu Zhongjun / China News Service / VCG / Getty Images

employment predict The number of domestic travels this year is 550 million, and China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip expects the number of domestic travels to end this year. 600 million -Both above 70% of last year’s level.
The scale of mass movements in such a short period is unthinkable in many parts of the world where governments are still struggling to control soaring infections. In the United States, coronavirus cases exceed 7 million over the weekend. Currently, much of Europe Second wave Number of infections; Even in countries heavily affected by the first wave, such as Greece and Croatia, cases surged as tourists went on summer vacations after European borders resumed in June.

But for now, given that China’s regional spread is near zero and some of the world’s most stringent border control measures, the virus is of much less concern to Chinese vacationers.

29-year-old Chen Qianmei from the southern city of Guangzhou flew to Shanghai for a holiday on Tuesday. She said she still took precautions but was not worried about the virus.

“I think China is controlling (virus) pretty well,” she said. “I especially wear a mask before eating and bring alcohol wipes to clean my hands. In Shanghai, few people currently wear masks.”

Confidence sign

The coronavirus, first discovered in Wuhan in central China in December, has been included in China since March before spreading to the world. In the following months, small outbreaks spread from time to time from the northeast to the capital Beijing and the far west of Xinjiang, but everything was quickly quarantined through rigorous containment measures and large-scale testing programs.

China has not reported cases of locally transmitted symptoms since mid-August, and it is strictly screening overseas entrants and workers at risk of exposure to the virus. Last week, two port workers unloading frozen seafood imported from Qingdao found a local asymptomatic infection for the first time in over a month after testing positive for the virus in routine tests.

Two residents walk through an empty park during the Lunar New Year holiday on January 27 in Wuhan, China.

Two residents walk through an empty park during the Lunar New Year holiday on January 27 in Wuhan, China.

Stringer/Getty Images

The sense of control stands in stark contrast to the anxiety and premonition that masked the Lunar New Year holidays at the end of January, China’s last major travel period. At the time, the coronavirus was sweeping Wuhan after local authorities initially silenced medical workers trying to sound an alarm. Two days before New Year’s Day, the Chinese government ordered an unprecedented city blockade, but by that time hundreds of millions of Chinese people headed home for family reunions or vacation abroad.

Eight months later, all restrictions on domestic movement in China have been lifted. officially, Some cities still have to produce green for passengers. Health code It shows that it is safe to travel on smartphones at train stations and airports, but in practice it can be slow to implement.
China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a sign of the government’s confidence that it can control the virus. Said last week Domestic travel may be “normally” prepared for the upcoming vacation, as all cities in mainland China are marked as low risk for coronavirus.

However, the center encourages travelers to follow local epidemic control measures, wear masks on trains, planes, and crowded areas, and stay 1 meter (3.2 feet) away from tourist destinations, the last of which can be difficult, if not impossible to observe. . , Considering the size of the crowd that frequently floods popular sites during Chinese holidays.

Last week, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China ordered tourist attractions to limit their capacity to 75% from 50% of the previous month during Golden Week. To facilitate contact tracking, visitors must register online in advance.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at CDC in China, said said Earlier this month, the state broadcaster CCTV said that there is no need to impose additional restrictions on domestic travel during the national holiday season as the coronavirus is no longer spreading to society.
“Now it is impossible to get infected with a virus in a social environment.” He said. “We still find dozens of import cases among travelers arriving in China on international flights, but the import cases will not have a significant impact on domestic residents as they are managed on a closed circuit and not spread to society.”

Domestic travel boost

Chinese authorities, including China’s CDC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have urged Chinese citizens to avoid unnecessary travel abroad, citing a violent epidemic around the world.

Along with the Lunar New Year holidays, China’s longest Golden Week holidays have traditionally seen middle-class Chinese people travel a lot abroad. Last year 7 million overseas travel Japan and Thailand were created during the holidays and according to government data
Chinese tourists await the tour bus at Ginza shopping street in Tokyo, Japan on October 2, 2019.

Chinese tourists await the tour bus at Ginza shopping street in Tokyo, Japan on October 2, 2019.

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

However, this year, various visa restrictions and quarantine requirements are imposed around the world, and international travel will be virtually impossible due to the lack of international flights. Upon returning to China, travelers must undergo strict quarantine for two weeks, during which at least half of this period must be spent at hotels designated by the government.

The only exception is Macau, which waived the quarantine requirement in July for mainland travelers who had a negative test result for coronavirus within 7 days. Last week, mainland China has fully resumed tourist visas for semi-autonomous regions on a national holiday.

As Chinese vacationers head to domestic destinations, local governments are vying for tourists. According to Ctrip, More than 20 provincial and local governments have issued travel vouchers and have provided free or discounted tickets to approximately 1,500 tourist attractions across China.
China State Railway Group, a railway operator in China, 180 million train rides in An additional 1,200 trains were added to meet the growing demand from September 28th to October 8th, but some tickets on popular routes were sold anyway.
Some flights were also sold out. China online travel booking site Qunar calculation More than 15 million domestic tickets will be sold for Golden Week, an increase of 10% over 2019, partly due to lower airfare prices.
And on Chinese highways, massive traffic jams are expected this year. Average 51 million highway trips According to the Ministry of Transportation, the day is expected to increase by 1-3% year-on-year during the eight-day holiday.
Wuhan, the aid of the outbreak, has become a popular tourist destination for Chinese tourists since the closure was lifted in April. Last month, the capital city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, Announcement Nearly 400 tourist attractions will be open to tourists free of charge by the end of the year. According to the state run, more than 3.76 million tickets to Wuhan’s tourist attractions have been booked in a month on a reservation platform established by the province after the announcement. Hubei Daily.
that much Yellow Crane TowerWuhan’s famous landmark, according to Ctrip, ranks first on the list of most popular attractions in Golden Week.

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