China takes necessary precautions for Spring Festival travel rush

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 14, 2021
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People in Guangzhou city travel with their cat during the Spring Festival travel rush on Jan. 24, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

China's top economic planner and relevant public transportation authorities have issued a set of necessary precautions to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the orderly traffic flow during the Spring Festival travel rush.

"Work in this regard should be undertaken properly following the principle of strengthening personal preventive measures while reducing people's movement, the risk of infection, and limiting public gatherings," according to a notice issued on Tuesday on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

To strictly implement preventive measures, the NDRC has urged transport operators to increase ventilation and carry out more frequent cleaning and disinfection of transportation vehicles and facilities. Rail overcrowding will be strictly kept under control, and train stations and airports will work to improve the efficiency of body temperature testing and the flow of passengers inside buildings.

The NDRC will also work to promote the nation-wide authentication of people's health code amongst different provinces, in a bid to avoid the risk of infection when passengers wait to scan the QR code for health clearance.

Public transportation operators are urged to provide convenience for senior citizens and other vulnerable groups, and prioritize their needs accordingly.

For health management amongst frontline employees in public transportation services, the NDRC said nucleic acid tests will be undertaken on a regular basis. Employees will be vaccinated with their informed and voluntary consent.

Emergency plans have also been made in advance concerning possible traffic control, epidemic testing, as well as the sudden change of passenger flows and of certain trains and flights. 

In addition, the NDRC has put forward suggestions to reduce the passenger flow at source. For example, employees across China are encouraged to spend the Spring Festival holiday in the city where they work rather than traveling to their hometown. Labor unions are encouraged to negotiate with companies on the holiday arrangements and introduce a staggered return schedule after the holiday.

"Internet companies should develop information products and services using big data to estimate the passenger flow and traffic situation in popular destinations, so as to help tourists organize their trips," the NDRC notice stated.

The Spring Festival travel rush for this year will last for 40 days from Jan. 28 to March 8, and the railway tickets for the travel rush have been available since Dec. 30. 

China State Railway Co., Ltd estimated on Dec. 29, 2020 that it expected to see 407 million passenger trips during this period of time, with an average of 10.18 million railway trips made every day.

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