As part of its pandemic control measures, China called on people not to travel during the Spring Festivals in 2021 and 2022. Many could reunite with their families only via video link. As China now manages COVID-19 with measures designated for combating Category B, instead of the most severe Category A, infectious diseases, passengers are no longer subject to nucleic acid tests or the risk of centralized isolation. Family reunion is now the order of the day.
Category B management, of course, does not mean no management at all, because the pandemic is not yet over. The Chinese Government has taken steps to minimize the impact of the virus. For instance, the country will equip public transportation hubs and long-distance trains with more emergency medicine. Transport operators are required to increase backup staff for key personnel such as drivers and rotate work schedules to prepare for possible staff shortages caused by infections.
The Spring Festival travel rush this year will last 40 days from January 7 to February 15. Based on the figures during the first week, 2.1 billion trips will be made, up 99.5 percent over a year ago.
This has been made possible through China's optimization of its efforts to contain COVID-19. As the virulence of the virus waned, China made a series of science-based adjustments, leading to the downgrading of COVID management measures as of January 8 this year.
As the peak of the latest infection wave has subsided, Chinese people are returning to their normal lives, with the Spring Festival travel rush being a telling example of recovery.
The Spring Festival is also a national spending spree. Thailand, Indonesia and other popular holiday destinations are trying to attract Chinese tourists. Many shopping malls and supermarkets in China have recorded their biggest increase in sales within the past three years. All these are signs boding well for both China and the world.