As the Spring Festival travel rush kicked off on Thursday,
transportation operators have tightened measures to prevent the
resurgence of COVID-19 cases and provide better service to passengers.
The Ministry of Transport further cut on Thursday its forecast of
passenger flow for the Spring Festival travel season as the country has
adopted strict anti-epidemic measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On the first day of the Spring Festival travel rush, the country was expected to handle 19.91 million passengers trips.
According to the ministry, about 1.15 billion passenger trips were
expected to be made during the 40-day travel rush, a year-on-year
decline of 20 percent and more than 60 percent lower than in 2019.
"The number is changing constantly," Ministry of Transport spokesman Wu Chungeng said at a news conference on Thursday.
"The daily passenger trips are growing slightly based on the data for
the past three days," he said, adding that the number might be lower
than expected because people were advised not to travel during the
On Thursday, the civil aviation sector expected to handle 8,850
flights and 540,000 passenger trips, a year-on-year decrease of 46.7
percent and 71.2 percent, respectively.
The national railway network expected to handle 4 million passenger
trips, a drop of 66 percent, while 37,600 passenger trips were expected
to be handled at Beijing Capital International Airport and 16,000
passenger trips at Beijing Daxing International Airport.
The 40-day travel season started on Thursday and end on March 8. It is regarded as the world's largest annual human migration.
The Spring Festival holiday, which falls on Feb 12 this year, is
China's most important holiday for family reunions. People usually
gather to celebrate the weeklong festival.
This year, to curb the resurgence of the novel coronavirus, top
authorities advised people not to travel and to celebrate the holiday
where they work and live.
Transportation authorities also released guidelines to regulate
measures to curb the virus, including wearing protective masks and
increasing the frequency of disinfection.
Ren Mengyi, the chief conductress of a bullet train from Beijing to
Harbin, Heilongjiang province, said the staff onboard will wear
protective masks, goggles and gloves throughout the journey.
She said staff members are also required to remind passengers to wear
masks, and the train is regularly disinfected, with special attention
paid to frequently touched items such as door handles.