CHINA / SOCIETY
Travel agencies in S China's Guangdong suspend group tours to Beijing
Published: Dec 28, 2020 01:31 AM

A tourist poses for a selfie in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, April 29, 2020. Photo: Xinhua


Some travel agencies in South China's Guangdong Province have suspended receiving bookings for package tours to Beijing and may cancel related trips during the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays due to the capital city's recent coronavirus outbreak, local media outlet Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Sunday. 

Beijing is tightening inter-city travel given the resurgence of local COVID-19 cases. The city is urging residents not to travel outside Beijing, or outsiders come to the city during the upcoming holidays.

Strict travel controls to and from Beijing will be introduced during the holidays, said Zhou Weimin, an inspector with the Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau at a news conference on Sunday. 

During the two festivals, the city is asking travel agencies and online travel platforms not to organize package tours to Beijing, nor tours from Beijing to the high-risk areas. Tours shall not be received by Beijing if tourists have visited high-risk areas or have been abroad in the past 14 days. International travel by tour groups will continue to be suspended.

The city also vowed to strengthen the management of tour groups. The main responsibility of travel agencies and related enterprises will be clearly defined, the size of travel groups to and from Beijing will be regulated, and the epidemic prevention and control requirements in Beijing and destinations outside Beijing will be strictly implemented. Travel agencies should lay out emergency plans, and implement prevention and control requirements on a person-by-person basis.

When consulted on Sunday, a number of travel agencies in Beijing and Shanghai said they had not yet received notice of cancellation of the itineraries to or from Beijing, but all booked trips are subject to change based on future policy adjustments.

Beijing has reported 13 local COVID-19 infections in the past two weeks. City officials have required all districts, departments and companies to enter a state of emergency, adopt a more resolute attitude and stringent measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19. 

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