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Coronavirus

China’s Big Holiday Travel Season Light So Far

January 28, 2021

BEIJING — Efforts to dissuade Chinese from traveling for the Lunar New Year appeared to be working as Beijing’s main train station was largely quiet and estimates of passenger totals were smaller than in past years.

Thursday started the roughly two-week travel rush ahead of the holiday that falls this year on Feb. 12.

At the Beijing train station, only about a third of the security gates were open, ticket windows had no lines and no passengers were camped on the central plaza. Authorities have offered free refunds on plane tickets and extra pay for workers who stay put. People who do travel must have a negative coronavirus test and may still face local quarantines.

Authorities' failure to restrict Lunar New Year travel last year was blamed for fueling the spread of the virus, especially since Wuhan, the city where the illness was first detected, is a key travel hub.

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