China Railway Trips Slump Before Lunar New Year on Travel Curbs

Train trips in China slumped ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays as a result of travel curbs to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Chinese passengers made a total of 52.3 million trips in the 15 days through Feb. 11, a drop of 69% from a similar period last year, Xinhua reported on Friday, citing data from China State Railway Group. Most of the impact of the pandemic last year took place on or after the holiday period.

Local governments last month asked people to stay where they work or get virus tests and isolate for up to 14 days amid Covid-19 flare-ups in several provinces. The restrictions prompted millions of factory workers to give up the the idea of a traditional family gathering at a time that usually sees the world’s biggest human migration.

As a result of the curbs, China expects a total of 1.15 billion trips during the holiday period, 20% lower than last year, when the country imposed its first lockdowns.

Cargo volume sent through railway has increased by 9.5% from last year, the report said. Meanwhile, China delivered more than 130 million packages on the Lunar New Year’s eve and the following day, surging by 223% from 2020, the official People’s Daily has reported.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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