Today marks the start of the world’s largest human migration, an event that sees millions of people travel thousands of miles across China to reach home in time for the Lunar New Year. For some, it’s the only time they will see their families all year round and it is a must-see event.
But there are fears that the Spring Festival travel season, or Chunyun in Chinese, could become a superspreader event. last year’s Chunyun played a significant role in the spread of Covid – 19. So the Chinese authorities were left with a problem: how to encourage people to stay local, without actually canceling the country’s largest annual celebration? The stick This year`s Chunyun starts January 28th and runs through March 8th, giving people time to potentially travel thousands of miles across China in time for the New Year, February 12th, and back .
In a normal year, China sees about three billion trips during the Chunyun period. But last year, when the virus began to take hold and the government introduced travel restrictions, the Ministry data of transport shows that the number of trips decreased by more than half.
For people in the affected cities, the message is clear: there will be no travel for this year’s Spring Festival. But even if your area is not under such a strict lockdown, it could be difficult to return home China The National Health Commission has stated that people returning to rural areas will be required to submit a negative Covid-19 test issued up to seven days before their departure during the Spring Festival. “home observation” period, which still allows them to leave their home but requires them to monitor their temperature daily During this time they will also not be allowed to participate in meetings and will have to take a Covid test every seven days . Many on social media have been quick to point out that this will disproportionately affect migrant workers working in cities and traveling back to their homes in rural areas at this time. The measures would make it too impractical or too expensive. – but officials say these are the precautions that need to be taken to keep China safe.