Fewer trips for China’s Golden Week amid quarantine fears

Sep 30, 2022, 2:20 AM | Updated: 2:52 am

Participants stand before a ceremony to mark Martyr's Day at the Monument to the People's Heroes at...

Participants stand before a ceremony to mark Martyr's Day at the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING (AP) — While China’s top leaders commemorated revolutionary martyrs Friday, far fewer Chinese are expected to be traveling during the upcoming “Golden Week” National Day holidays amid rigid anti-COVID-19 restrictions and calls from health officials for people to stay put.

China’s transport ministry estimates some 210 million trips will be made by road during the week-long holiday that begins Saturday — down 30% compared to the same time last year.

China remains the only major country that has yet to reopen and continues to enforce strict case tracing, quarantines and mask wearing policies, along with rolling lockdowns affecting millions and the manipulation of health designations to prevent people traveling.

China’s railways are also expected to see a 50% drop in travel, with some 68.5 million passenger trips from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8, according to state-run TV network CGTN.

The holiday is typically seen as a barometer for consumer spending, and in pre-pandemic days, many Chinese residents seized on the opportunity to travel either domestically or overseas.

However, China’s international borders remain largely closed, and those that do make it in must complete a mandatory quarantine at a designated facility, part of the “zero-COVID” strategy that has been criticized at home and by the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

The hard-line approach is being cited as one reason why China’s economic growth rate is expected to fall to as little as 2.8% this year, according to the World Bank. But China credits the policy with keeping its numbers of cases and fatalities far lower than other major nations, although its figures have been widely questioned.

The country reported 156 new infections for Thursday, and another 711 asymptomatic infections. Another 610 were reported as imported cases.

Health officials have advised residents to avoid travelling between provinces for the holidays, stating that increased movement will increase transmission risks in the country.

Authorities have also said that those travelling between different provinces should take a coronavirus test upon arrival at their destination.

China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism also urged people to avoid visiting places with COVID-19 risks and to practice social distancing while travelling.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top leaders attended a ceremony Friday in Beijing to pay tribute to those martyred in the struggle to establish the communist state, half a month ahead of a summit of Communist Party leaders.

The annual ceremony of Martyr’s Day honors those who lost their lives in fighting for the country’s independence, on the eve of the Oct. 1 National Day that marks the establishment of the Communist People’s Republic of China.

Veterans, students and representatives of all walks of life, following Xi and other top officials, paid their respects and laid chrysanthemums at the foot of the Monument to the People’s Heroes in the center of Beijing’s sprawling Tiananmen Square.

Xi, considered the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, is expected to further consolidate his power at the Communist Party’s 20th Congress that starts in mid-October and runs for a week.

Meanwhile, the city of Sanya in Hainan province, known for its resorts and beaches, has lifted many COVID-19 restrictions after it went under lockdown amid a local outbreak that left tens of thousands of tourists stranded in the city.

From Sept. 29, public transportation has resumed in the city and a ban on dine-in services was lifted. Attractions were also allowed to reopen ahead of the Golden Week holidays, with capacity capped at 75%.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

1 hour ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

24 hours ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

1 day ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

3 days ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

3 days ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

Associated Press

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona’s Kelli Ward plead not guilty in fake elector case

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His trial will take place in October.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Fewer trips for China’s Golden Week amid quarantine fears