lørdag 21. januar 2023

At Last, a Spring Festival Family Reunion After Three Years

Chen Hong is finally returning home for the holidays after three years away. The 48-year-old, who works at a metal refining factory in Malaysia, hadn’t been able to fly to China since 2020 due to the country’s strict travel policies, which included a lengthy quarantine. Now that authorities have dismantled the policy, making travel easier, many people like Chen are making the long-awaited journey home for Lunar New Year, which falls on Sunday.

“I’m finally home,” Chen told Sixth Tone. “I’m so excited. God knows how long I’ve been waiting for this moment.”

For many, Lunar New Year — also known as Spring Festival — has been muted for the past three years, as authorities discouraged traveling to curb the transmission of the virus. During this time, they were unable to join the annual family reunion dinner, normally the only time for some to get off from work and visit their hometowns. But more Chinese are traveling this year. More than 2 billion passenger trips are expected during the 40-day peak travel season, up by 99.5% from 2022, according to the Ministry of Transport, and the number of people leaving Beijing and Shanghai is at its highest since 2020.