The Omicron variant has hampered the travel plans of tens of millions of people across several Asian countries over the Lunar New Year holiday, as officials battle the pandemic for a third year.
As observed this year on February 1, the Lunar New Year falls at a time when many countries are seeing an increase in coronavirus cases. Omicron is becoming the dominant variant in countries like South Korea, where up to 90% of its cases are expected to be related to Omicron by the end of February.
Before the pandemic, more three billion trips was carried out during holiday in China – often described as the world’s largest annual migration. People visit their hometown or go on vacation.
Again this year, there will be far less travel, with travel regulations and pressure from governments restricting migration.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “Large gatherings will have to wait a little longer, as the Omicron variant has forced us to maintain strict measures.” in a statement about the holidays. “We must continue to exercise social responsibility and take precautions.”
Singapore has reported a 457 percent increase in daily cases over the past two weeks, according to Our data world. City of the state Ministry of Health said it expects “cases to double every two or three days.” In December, Singapore and Malaysia temporarily Temporarily stop selling tickets for planes and buses to deal with the rise of Omicron, even for people who are fully vaccinated.
Chinese citizens are being closely monitored by the government, with color coding system restrict their movement and make travel difficult. Of the country “zero Covid approach” resulted in lockdowns in various cities.
In January, Beijing officials reported the city first Omicron case and called for an immediate lockout in a neighborhood. With the Olympics approaching, China has decided do not sell tickets for most domestic and international audiences.
On Sunday, Beijing reported its highest number of cases in 18 months, just days before the Olympics.
South Korea has not placed a travel ban on its citizens, but it has repeatedly urged them to be as restrictive as possible, not to visit relatives and go on vacation.
Although the country is fully vaccinated for 85% of the population, according to Our data worldit achieved a record number of cases of 17,532 cases during the extended Lunar New Year weekend, which began Saturday and will run through Wednesday.
Some countries that have imposed strict international travel restrictions will continue to move towards the gradual reopening of their tourism industries.
Vietnam is gradually reopening to international tourists. Several destinations have already opened up and the country will be fully accessible to visitors in April.
Indonesia lifted its ban on travelers from 14 countries in mid-January, allowing people from any country to visit if they were in quarantine upon arrival. “Learning from the increase in cases of the Omicron variant in different countries, the government is fully prepared to deal with it,” President Joko Widodo said in a statement on Friday.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/world/asia/omicron-asia-lunar-new-year.html Omicron Surge in Asia restricts travel during Lunar New Year