As you probably know by now, August is a month that was supposed to have been the biggest travel month in China, outside of the Lunar New Year holiday period.
Everyone was expecting to see the beaches, hotels and theme parks full, but things did not go quite as planned, and the reason is a pretty obvious one – the novel coronavirus.
Al Jazeera notes that new COVID-19 outbreaks, sparked by the introduction of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in the city of Nanjing late last month, brought most travel and tourism to a standstill.
China implemented a Covid-zero strategy of eliminating any cases in the country, and this has now put millions under lockdown, or it has limited people’s movement – local governments are restricting travel regardless of whether cases have popped up in their jurisdiction or not.
It’s been also revealed that Shenzhen’s government is telling residents not to leave the city unless absolutely necessary. They are forcing people to essentially drop any summer travel plans, even locally.
“There are massive amounts of trip cancellations, and it is not only going to affect business in the industry financially, but also cast fear among potential travelers during the outbreak.”
This is what Zhou Mingqi, founder of tourism consultancy firm Jingjian Consulting in Shanghai, told Al Jazeera.
Zhou said that the situation would likely last through September, if not longer. “It remains to be seen how far and wide and how far-reaching the impacts will be, just as it is unclear when the outbreak will be over,” he said.
China under scrutiny by the WHO
As reported by Newsweek, Peter Ben Embarek, who led a mission to investigate the origins of Covid in China, said the following:
“An employee who was infected in the field by taking samples falls under one of the probable hypotheses. This is where the virus jumps directly from a bat to a human. In that case, it would then be a laboratory worker instead of a random villager or other person who has regular contact with bats. So it is actually in the probable category.”
They are stemming an extremely important issue: understanding the virus origins and the whole pandemic outbreak is “vitally important” to prevent future pandemics.