Holiday trips within China jump as authorities scrap Covid curbs

About 226 million domestic trips were made during the Lunar New Year holiday

An estimated 226 million domestic trips were made during the holiday week that ended on Friday in China. AFP
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The number of people making trips inside China over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday surged by 74 per cent from last year after authorities scrapped Covid-19 curbs that had stifled travel for three years, media reported on Saturday.

An estimated 226 million domestic trips were made by all means, including plane, during the holiday week that ended on Friday, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing government figures.

That compares with about 130 million domestic trips during the holiday week last year, according to the transport ministry.

In the last Lunar New Year holiday before the pandemic emerged in late 2019 in the central city of Wuhan, 420 million trips were made internally.

The National Immigration Administration said on Friday t trips more than doubled in the first six days of the holiday — to a total of 2.39 million, up 123.9 per cent — compared with the same period last year.

During the Lunar New Year holiday in 2019, a total of 12.53 million cross-border trips were made, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year in China when huge numbers of people working in prosperous coastal cities head to their hometowns and villages for a once-a-year family reunion.

But for three years people were told not to travel during the holiday. Those that did faced multiple Covid tests, the risk of snap lockdowns, quarantine and even admonishment by their work units.

China abandoned its strict “zero Covid” policy in early December after protests against the restrictions, allowing people to travel and the virus to spread rapidly throughout the country.

Updated: January 29, 2023, 4:30 AM