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Lunar New Year Travel Surge Expected in China

China is preparing for a surge in travelers during the Lunar New Year holiday, also known as "Chun Yun," which officially begins on January 21st.

Chinese Traveling
Chinese Male Traveling

This will be the first holiday since 2020 without domestic travel restrictions. The Ministry of Transport expects over 2 billion passengers to take trips, a 99.5% increase from the previous year and reaching 70.3% of trip numbers in 2019.

However, there are concerns about the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday period. China recently dismantled its "zero-COVID" policy following protests, leading to a wave of infections and hospital overcrowding. Some have feared infecting elderly relatives and have chosen not to travel. Authorities are attempting to increase medical resources in rural areas and establish a "green channel" for high-risk patients to be transferred to higher-level hospitals.

China Reopens Borders with Hong Kong, Lifts Quarantine Requirement for International Travelers

On Sunday, China will reopen its border with Hong Kong and lift the quarantine requirement for travelers abroad. This allows Chinese citizens to travel abroad for the first time since borders closed nearly three years ago without fearing having to quarantine upon return. However, multiple countries now require COVID tests from China travelers.

The World Health Organisation has also stated that China's COVID data underrepresents the number of hospitalizations and deaths from the disease. Chinese officials and state media have defended their handling of the outbreak and condemned foreign travel requirements for its citizens.