wechat_bg

2021-01-29 11:09:07

Chunyun, China’s 40-day Spring Festival travel period, marks the beginning of the world’s largest human migration. In a normal year, hundreds of millions of people would be traveling across the country for long-awaited family reunions.

But with authorities still engaged in a deadly game of whack-a-mole against the coronavirus, the Ministry of Transport has estimated there will be 1.7 billion trips this year by rail, air, and bus — a staggering figure, but a decrease of around 40% from 2019, the last non-pandemic year.

For those who are still determined to make the journey home, even as more local, provincial, and central authorities are calling for travel to be avoided if at all possible, they’ll have to comply with rigorous public health measures and take every precaution to arrive safely at their destinations.

Bullet trains are idle the evening before the first day of the Spring Festival travel period at Guangzhou South Railway Station, Guangdong province, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Bullet trains are idle the evening before the first day of the Spring Festival travel period at Guangzhou South Railway Station, Guangdong province, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Passengers board the first “chunyun” train leaving from Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Passengers board the first “chunyun” train leaving from Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Passengers aboard the first “chunyun” train leaving from Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Passengers aboard the first “chunyun” train leaving from Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Attendants wait for passengers to board a train at Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Attendants wait for passengers to board a train at Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

A mother and child in full hazmat suits pass through an automatic ticketing gate at Beijing South Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. Wang Jiaxing/China Youth Daily

A mother and child in full hazmat suits pass through an automatic ticketing gate at Beijing South Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. Wang Jiaxing/China Youth Daily

A mother and her children wait in line at a railway station on Thursday, the beginning of this year’s Spring Festival travel period, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Jan. 28, 2021. IC

A mother and her children wait in line at a railway station on Thursday, the beginning of this year’s Spring Festival travel period, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Jan. 28, 2021. IC

A message scrawled on a disease control worker’s protective suit reads “take care and welcome home,” at Shijiazhuang Railway Station, Hebei province, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

A message scrawled on a disease control worker’s protective suit reads “take care and welcome home,” at Shijiazhuang Railway Station, Hebei province, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

An air-sanitizing robot patrols the waiting halls of Shenyang Railway Station, Liaoning province, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

An air-sanitizing robot patrols the waiting halls of Shenyang Railway Station, Liaoning province, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

Passengers in the main waiting hall of Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station on the first day of this year’s Spring Festival travel period, Jan. 28, 2021. Wu Huiyuan/Sixth Tone

Passengers in the main waiting hall of Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station on the first day of this year’s Spring Festival travel period, Jan. 28, 2021. Wu Huiyuan/Sixth Tone

A China Eastern Airlines staff member waits to assist checking-in passengers at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Jan. 28, 2021. Wu Huiyuan/Sixth Tone

A China Eastern Airlines staff member waits to assist checking-in passengers at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Jan. 28, 2021. Wu Huiyuan/Sixth Tone

A volunteer helps a boy wear his mask properly at Chongqing North Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

A volunteer helps a boy wear his mask properly at Chongqing North Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

A couple parts with a kiss on the first day of the Spring Festival travel period outside Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

A couple parts with a kiss on the first day of the Spring Festival travel period outside Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. People Visual

People rest while waiting for their trains at Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. AFP/People Visual

People rest while waiting for their trains at Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 28, 2021. AFP/People Visual

A disease control worker sterilizes an escalator at Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 27, 2021. People Visual

A disease control worker sterilizes an escalator at Beijing Railway Station, Jan. 27, 2021. People Visual