CHINA / SOCIETY
Beijing workers reconsidering Spring Festival travel plans due to new COVID-19 cases
Published: Dec 30, 2020 12:00 AM


File Photo: CFP



The national railways are expected to transport 407 million passengers in China during the 2021 Spring Festival, with an average of 10.18 million passengers per day. However, because of recent coronavirus cases in Beijing, some are starting to reconsider their travel plans.

The 2021 Spring Festival travel season will begin on January 28 and end on March 8, a period of 40 days. Passengers can start to buy tickets for this year's Spring Festival travel season on Tuesday. Train tickets for the 7-day Spring Festival holiday can be purchased from January 13, 2021, thepaper.cn reported.

In China, Spring Festival travel season sees large passenger flows as people return home to reunite with family members. 

However, following the COVID-19 cases in Beijing in the last two weeks, some people, especially those who work in Beijing but who are from other parts of China, are considering changing their travel plans.

Cheng Mingzi is an IELTS teacher in Beijing, whose hometown is Xi'an, Northwest China's Shannxi Province. She has no travel plans during Spring Festival except for going home.

"I may consider going home earlier if the company decides to let us work from home, which depends on the epidemic situation in Beijing," Cheng told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"Originally I planned to go home for the Spring Festival, but due to the epidemic situation in Beijing, I will reconsider my travel plans and might stay in Beijing," an engineer surnamed Shen who works at China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) based in Beijing, told the Global Times.

"At present, there has been no notice from the corporation requiring staff to stay in Beijing during Spring Festival, but I believe there will be further policies soon," said Shen, whose hometown is the city of Luoyang, central China's Henan Province.

The Beijing municipal government encouraged its citizens to spend Spring Festival in Beijing at a press conference on December 25. Officials of the CPC and government agencies were asked to take the lead in celebrating Spring Festival in Beijing and not leaving the city unless necessary, according to people.com.cn.

"We are required to report and get approval from the company leaders before we leave Beijing. In addition, the destination may have some prevention and control policies for people coming from Beijing," said Shen. 

"For people who need to return to their hometown, they can try to arrange their holiday ahead of the Spring Festival travel rush," said Zhang Boli, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, at a conference on December 17. He also suggested that relevant government departments can arrange in advance the time for return trips and prepare emergency plans for the coming Spring Festival.


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