Hong Kong (CNN) – China is moving forward once again. With October 1 approaching, millions of people are expected to pack highways, trains and planes for the National Day holiday, the busiest time to travel in the world’s most populous country.
During the National Day holiday in 2019, tourists flock to the Leshan Giant Buddha in Sichuan Province, China.
Liu Zonggjun / China News Service / VCG / Getty Images
But so far, the virus is far less of a concern for Chinese holidaymakers, which is why China is considering zero local transmission and some of the world’s toughest border control measures.
Chen Qianmei, 29, of the southern city of Guangzhou, went to Shanghai on Tuesday for a vacation. He said he was not worried about the virus, although he was still cautious.
“I think China (the virus) is under very good control,” he said. “I wear a mask and bring alcohol wipes to clean my hands, especially before eating – although in Shanghai, fewer people wear masks now.”
Chinese security personnel monitor a crowd on a popular pedestrian shopping street during the ‘Golden Week’ holiday in Shanghai in 2017.
AFP Contributor / AFP / AFP by Getty Images
The coronavirus, which was found in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last December before spreading around the world, has been contained in China since March. In the months that followed, small-scale outbreaks have occasionally erupted – from the country’s northeast to the capital Beijing and the far western region of Xinjiang, but they were all quickly covered by tight lockdown measures and mass testing programs.
China has not reported any cases of the disease transmitted locally since the midst of Gust, and is strictly investigating foreign arrivals and workers at risk of exposure to the virus. Last week, it detected its first local asymptomatic infection in a month, after two port workers unloaded frozen imported seafood in Qingdao, testing positive for the virus in routine checkups.
Two residents were walking in an empty park during the Lunar New Year holiday on January 27 in Wuhan, China.
Strong / Getty Images
The lunar New Year holiday in late January – China’s last major travel period – is in stark contrast to the anxiety and a sense of control over the haphazard. At the time, a coronavirus outbreak had erupted in Wuhan after local officials initially silenced healthcare workers trying to sound the alarm. Two days before Lunar New Year’s Day, the Chinese government ordered an unprecedented lockdown on the city, but by then, the virus had already spread to other provinces and even the country, as millions of Chinese people went or took home for family reunification. Holidays abroad.
But the center still recommends passengers follow local epidemic control measures, wear masks on trains, flights and crowded places, and keep a distance of 1-meter (2.2 feet) in tourist spots – the last of which is impossible to observe. As difficult as it may be, the Chinese have often given the size of crowds drowning popular sites during the holidays.
Last week, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism ordered tourist destinations to limit capacity to 75% during the Golden Week, which is more than the 0% limit compared to the previous month. To facilitate contact tracing, visitors need to register online in advance.
Tourists wearing face masks line up outside the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, China on September 3rd.
Hector Ritamel / AFP / AFP by Getty Images
Increase domestic travel
Chinese officials, including the Chinese CDC and the Foreign Ministry, have urged Chinese nationals to avoid unnecessary foreign travel, citing a stable epidemic around the world.
Chinese tourists wait for their tour bus in Ginza Shopping District on October 02, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.
Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images
But this year, due to various visa restrictions and various worldwide requirements, as well as the lack of international flights, it will become practically impossible to travel abroad. After returning to China, travelers must face two weeks of strict quarantine – spending at least half the time in government-designated hotels.
The only exception is Macau, which in July waived the associated requirements of Melandland travelers who received a negative test result for coronavirus within seven days. Last week, mainland China fully introduced tourist visas for the semi-autonomous region, just in time for the national holiday.
Tourists take selfies at the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan on September 3, 2020.
Hector Ritamel / AFP / AFP by Getty Images
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