China Daily | Differentiated policies for holiday travel required

It is less than two months before Spring Festival ushers in the Year of the Tiger. For many who work in places away from their loved ones, to go home for the family reunion or to choose to stay where they work during the festival has become a question that they need to answer sooner rather than later.

Quite a number of local governments have issued policies requiring people to stay where they work during the holiday in recent days, and more are expected to follow suit.

That is why the call by an expert on Saturday for differentiated policies by local governments in accordance with their local pandemic control situations is noteworthy.

The head of the experts group for responses to COVID-19 under the National Health Commission said at a news conference on Saturday that a local government should base its policy on its local prevention and control situation, and its policy should not be arbitrary.

It is indeed necessary for those places that are designated as high risk to make it mandatory for residents to stay put during the Spring Festival holiday. For those who work in high or medium level risk areas, it is for their own safety against the virus and also to prevent the virus from being spread in an extensive manner that they are being called on to make the sacrifice.

However, for those localities that have not had a single case of infection for months, there is no reason to impose a ban on travel between such places.

Given that many people attach great importance to family reunions during Spring Festival, conditions should be created for them to go home for the holiday as long as detailed arrangements are made to ensure they strictly observe the prevention and control rules.

It is lazy and irresponsible for some local governments to make mandatory rules or even impose a blanket ban on travel from their localities to other places during the traditional holiday.

According to experts most people in low-risk areas should be able to go home for family reunions during the coming Spring Festival so long as their homes are in low-risk areas and they wear masks and strictly follow social distancing rules when traveling.

Instead of simply making mandatory rules requiring residents to stay where they work this Spring Festival, local governments should make detailed arrangements to make sure that control and prevention measures are strictly observed at such venues as railway stations, airports and coach terminals as well as on trains, flights and coaches.

The epidemic prevention and control situation is still complex, and in some places grim, but people should be able to have happy and healthy holidays so long as they exercise caution and act sensibly in the knowledge that the virus has not disappeared and it will take any opportunity to spread.

Local governments should be on high alert and ensure that their epidemic prevention and control systems are always ready for an emergency response.

Editorial, China Daily

Categories Opinion