China urges reduced travel, gatherings during New Year holidays amid virus risks
12/25/2020|11:38:18 AM|Global Times

Amid the mounting pressure of imported cases and continuing sporadic domestic cases, the Chinese central government called on people to reduce mobility and gatherings during the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays.

Chinese analysts believe that the world's largest population migration during the holidays will swell the risks of a COVID-19 resurgence in China, and measures such as imposing a lockdown in one city are possible if risk continues to grow. 

According to a notice about the New Year and Spring Festival holidays issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and China's State Council on Thursday, governments across the country have to be under constant guard to prevent imported cases and rebound of domestic cases and reduce people's mobility and gatherings during the two major holidays.

Local governments should also prevent infections resulting from imported products and standardize personal protection, regular monitoring and nucleic acid testing for those who have direct contact with them, and take strict sanitation measures in key places, according to the notice.

Recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in multiple cities, and virus mutations detected in several countries, including the UK, have been scaring off some Chinese people from going on their annual Spring Festival holidays. Many are worried that the Spring Festival travel rush, the world's biggest human migration, may bring a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

Some Chinese people said they will cancel their travel plans and stay where they were to avoid possible infections during the travel rush, and some said they will go back home ahead of time.

The 40-day Spring Festival travel rush will start on January 28, 2021, and end on March 8, authorities said. 

About 2.97 billion trips were made during the 2018 Spring Festival travel rush and about 2.98 billion in 2019.  

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