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China unveils epidemic control plan for upcoming holiday

Updated: Jan 25,2021 08:46 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China has issued a plan to reduce mass gatherings and enhance epidemic prevention and control during the upcoming Spring Festival travel rush, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

It rolled out a slew of measures on promoting off-peak travel. Workers are encouraged to stay in the cities where they are working during the holiday if local conditions permit it. They should also space out their return trips to hometowns.

The country will offer a "point-to-point" transportation service to bring migrant workers to their hometowns and later to cities. Chartered buses and enhanced transport connections between urban and rural areas would go into effect, the plan said.

It urged Chinese universities to adjust their winter holiday arrangements and teaching plans per local virus containment orders and avoid starting the spring semester during the Spring Festival travel season.

Tourist attractions will operate under limited capacity and reservation policies. The reception volume of A-level tourist spots must be no more than 75 percent of their maximum capacity, the plan said.

Apart from advocating off-peak travel, it underscored measures including controlling passenger-load factors of pub­lic trans­port ser­vices. It also promotes the universal recognition of health codes nationwide and formulating COVID-19 emergency response plans to ensure safe passenger journeys.

It also required local epidemic prevention and control government agencies to do nucleic acid tests weekly for those working on the frontline during the travel rush. These workers must receive priority to get COVID-19 vaccines.

The Spring Festival travel rush, known as the world's largest annual human migration, lasts 40 days from Jan 28 to March 8 this year.

Official data showed China would likely see around 1.7 billion passenger trips during the 40-day travel rush this year. An average of 40 million passenger trips will occur every day. It is up by more than 10 percent from the 2020 level and down over 40 percent from 2019.