2022 Spring Festival travel season kicks off despite COVID-19 concerns
Published: Jan 17, 2022 03:13 PM
Photo:Li Hao/GT

Photo:Li Hao/GT

The first day of the 40-day Spring Festival travel season in 2022 kicked off on Monday amid sporadic outbreaks of COVID-19 across the country. Over 1.18 billion trips are expected to be made during the travel rush, a year-on-year increase of 35.6 percent over 2021, an official from the Ministry of Transportation said.

The world's largest annual human migration which started on Monday and lasts through February 25 is expected to see 29.5 million trips each day, and the 40-day trips will decline 60.4 percent from the pre-pandemic level in 2019 and 20.3 percent from 2020, as governments at all levels urged residents to limit their mobility during the festival to curb the virus from spreading.

During the travel season, Beijing West Railway Station will facilitate 3 million passengers, at a daily average of 75,000, peaking on January 29, when 185,000 trips are expected to be made, according to a report released by the station sent to the Global Times on Monday.

In response to heightened concern over the coronavirus, the West Railway Station has deployed five new health code checkers at the station's main entrance, which can quickly check passengers' health information through facial recognition technology or an ID card check.

The station's waiting area will be fully disinfected every two hours, with new robots assisting with the disinfection of main thoroughfares.

The three major railway stations in Shanghai are expected to welcome 174,000 trips on Monday, a significant drop from last year's levels, according to a report by the China Media Group.

South China's Guangdong Province will likely greet 121 million trips during the 40 days, up about 6 percent year-on-year, with stricter anti-epidemic efforts in place including all-weather disinfection across both air and land ports as well as railway stations.

In 2022, it is estimated that 280 million trips will be made by rail during the travel rush, up 28.5 percent year-on-year, translating to 69 percent of 2019 levels, Li Wenxin, an official from China Railway Group Co, said during a teleconference on December 30, 2021.
Lv Erxue, an official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), said that the country will see about 35 million trips by air, on par with last year's number. 

Global Times