Over 117 million people may make trips in China during May Day holiday

Kyodo News

Posted at May 01 2020 08:41 PM

Over 117 million people may make trips in China during May Day holiday 1
People wearing face masks visit the Forbidden City as it reopens on the first day of the 5-day Labor Day holiday following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Beijing, China, May 1, 2020. Tingshu Wang, Reuters

BEIJING - More than 117 million people are likely to make trips in China during the 5-day May Day holiday that started Friday, official media reported, amid lingering concern over a possible second wave of new coronavirus infections in the country.

In Beijing, tourist destinations, such as the Palace Museum, known as the Forbidden City, have resumed their operations for the first time in around 3 months, as the number of new infections has been decreasing at home.

But many tourist spots still have limited entry and offered pre-booking, indicating that Chinese citizens have remained cautious about the spread of the new coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.

On Friday, visitors who were shown, via a smartphone app, not to have had known contact with infected patients were allowed to enter the Palace Museum, which will continue to close exhibit rooms there for the time being.

Tickets for the entry to the museum during the holiday period between Friday and Tuesday have been sold out, with a limit of 5,000 tourists a day, sharply down from the previous maximum of 80,000, its website showed.

According to the Chinese government, nearly 70 percent of the nation's tourist destinations have already reopened.

In another development, China's Hubei Province, the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, said Friday that it would lower its emergency response level from the top level to the second level from Saturday, state-run media reported.

The virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province. On the mainland, it has infected more than 82,000 people and killed over 4,600, China's health authorities said.