Chinese authorities ask citizens to limit travel until October end

Beijing, Sep 8 (EFE).- China Thursday asked people to restrict their travel until the end of October as the risk of new coronavirus outbreaks remained high.

Health, transport, and state council officials told reporters that the pandemic was still high and defense against imported cases remained under intense pressure, state-run China News Service reported.

They warned that Covid-19 was spreading in China so the upcoming holidays for the mid-autumn festival on Sep.12 and the national holiday in early October posed a risk of propagation due to greater mobility.

The transport ministry expected the number of trips for the mid-autumn festival to be 32 percent lower than in 2020 and 53 percent lower than in 2019.

National Day is on Oct.1. The national holidays that begin around that day are known as the “golden week” as it is the period when people tend to travel the most.

The authorities encouraged the Chinese to celebrate the holidays in their localities to avoid “large-scale” outbreaks.

According to the new guidelines, all those who travel to other cities must have a negative PCR test result 48 hours before departure to be able to board a plane, train, ship, or bus.

The residents of cities in the provinces of Shandong, Sichuan, Hunan, Heilongjiang, and Hebei had already been asked in recent days not to travel during the upcoming holidays due to the numerous Covid-19 outbreaks registered in several parts of the country.

The outbreaks have led to a complete or partial lockdown of many large cities like Chengdu and Guiyang.

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is scheduled in Beijing on Oct.16.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to be re-elected for an unprecedented third term at the event.

In recent months, China has seen outbreaks on a scale not seen since the pandemic began.

Xi has asserted that lockdowns to control outbreaks will stand the test of time and urged the country’s leadership to fight against any speech that “distorts, questions or rejects” the government’s “zero Covid” policy.

This policy consists of quarantining the infected and their close contacts in designated hospitals and facilities, strict border controls, massive testing campaigns, restrictions on movement, and partial or complete lockdowns wherever any infection is detected.

China has detected 243,449 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

These include 5,226 deaths. However, the number of infections excludes asymptomatic people. EFE


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