Severity: Warning Alert

Culture: China to observe Labor Day holiday May 1-5. Transport and business disruptions likely nationwide. Confirm travel plans.

This alert affects China

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 07:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Labor Day
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: May 1-5
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions

Summary
China will observe the Labor Day holiday May 1-5. Tens of millions of people will travel across the country, despite lingering concerns over coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Due to ongoing international travel restrictions, domestic travel will probably be high; however, travel providers indicate that many people will remain in their provinces or region.

Significant transport disruptions are likely, as the spike in travelers and measures in place for COVID-19 could overwhelm rail, bus, and airline networks through May 5. Increased congestion and delays at airports, bus terminals, and train stations are likely. Airlines and railways may add services to meet the growing demand, but overcrowding remains possible, especially to popular destinations. Many people will elect to drive private vehicles, causing significant traffic on national highways, especially on days immediately surrounding the holiday. Congestion is most likely on national expressways, including the G4 (Beijing to Hong Kong), G6 (Beijing to Tibet), and G45 (Hebei - Beijing - Henan); however, lengthy delays will probably also occur on regional highways.

Increased security measures are highly likely during the holiday, especially at transport hubs. Heightened security is also probable near popular tourist sites, in the vicinity of monuments, and politically sensitive landmarks, as officials will enforce capacity controls at these sites. Some labor protests are possible on May 1; however, any demonstrations are likely to be quickly dispersed by security forces. Increased petty crime is possible, especially in crowded tourist areas and transport hubs in cities.

Advice
Consider minimizing unnecessary trips during the holiday period. Transport providers may overbook services; reconfirm all rail, bus, and airline reservations. Airports and train stations will be extremely crowded; arrive much earlier than usual due to delays at check-in counters, health screenings, and security checkpoints. If road travel is necessary, drive defensively. Anticipate possible delivery delays and consider alternative transport for time-sensitive shipments. Take extra precautions to secure money and valuables. Expect high demand for hotels and taxis in tourist areas, as well as potential price gouging.


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