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260m passenger trips made in first 10 days of Spring Festival travel rush

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-01-27 19:18
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Passengers queue up to board the train G868 at Ruian Railway Station in Ruian, East China's Zhejiang province, Jan 17, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - A total of 260 million passenger trips were made during the first 10 days of China's Spring Festival travel rush in 2022, a transport official said Thursday.

The figure was 46 percent higher than the same period of 2021, Liu Pengfei, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport, told a press conference.

As of Wednesday, the number of railway and road trips reached 54.12 million and 196 million, respectively, while waterway and air passenger trips hit 3.88 million and 8.72 million, Liu said.

The pre-holiday passenger flow is expected to peak around Jan 30, while return trips are likely to peak during Feb 5 to 8 and Feb 16 to 17, he added.

During the 40-day travel season, also known as chunyun, many Chinese people will travel to reunite with their families for the Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, which falls on Feb 1 this year.

Outbreaks of the highly contagious Omicron variant in recent weeks have added to concerns that the massive movement of people will cause a spike in coronavirus cases.

The ministry will coordinate with relevant government departments to introduce targeted measures to support the prevention and control of COVID-19 during the annual travel rush, Liu said.

This year is the third Spring Festival travel rush since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. Chinese authorities will draw on the experience of past years to roll out stringent anti-virus measures in areas with high seasonal traffic.

The sterilization of public venues and transport vehicles, regular body-temperature checks, and face mask rules will be strictly implemented, Liu said.

Most trips during the travel rush will be over short and medium distances, with an average daily traffic volume reaching 28 million vehicles, almost unchanged from 2021, Liu said.

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