Official Notice! Group Trips Suspended In...
China's top authority has pushed to put a pause on group trips in mid- and high-risk areas based on the fact that nearly 80 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases have been related to the travel groups in the recent flareup.
Travel agencies and online travel apps are not allowed to operate any inbound and outbound tours, and travel operators in high- or middle-risk cities are required to "suspend and notify the public as soon as the statement is issued," China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on Saturday.
The announcement came as more confirmed COIVD-19 cases in the recent flareup after the country's National Day holidays, are believed by experts to have a straight relation with the transmission chain of a group that departed from Shanghai on October 9.
Based on the updated data from the National Health Commission on Sunday, of the total of 133 cases, 106 were related to travelers.
Beijing also suffered sporadic cases in Changping district, where a tightened epidemic prevention policy was introduced after reporting 10 COVID-19 cases in two days, according to media reports.
Many domestic online travel booking platforms told the Global Times on Sunday that group travel suspension notices have been placed.
"Given that Changping district has become a middle-risk area, we have now suspended any outbound or inbound provincial trips based in Beijing," said an announcement from China's online travel booking platform Ctrip, suggesting tourists to hold plans that start or end in Beijing.
There are similar notices for group tours departing from Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi, where reservations will not be open until mid-November.
The group travel transmission chain was firstly discovered on October 16, when a group of 7 tourists departed from Shanghai on October 9 and traveled in Northwest China's Gansu Province, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Shaanxi. Two of the travelers were positive in nucleic acid tests, followed later by the remaining five.
As of Sunday, the outbreak has affected 11 provinces within a week, including Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Hubei, Hunan, Hebei, Guizhou, and Yunnan said the National Health Commission on a press conference.
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