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People surge back onto the streets in China as lockdown eases

Beijing: China’s most populous cities saw a spike in outbound travellers, tourists and day-trippers on May 1, first day of a long holiday weekend, led by Wuhan, epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic that first struck the country late last year.

The number of people travelling outside their home cities jumped nearly 50 per cent at the start of the Labour Day weekend, compared with the first day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday on April 4, according to Reuters calculations on data from China’s internet giant Baidu Inc.

Chinese women wear traditional clothing and protective masks as they wait to cross a road in a tourist area during the May holiday in Beijing.

Chinese women wear traditional clothing and protective masks as they wait to cross a road in a tourist area during the May holiday in Beijing.Credit:Getty Images

The increase in outbound travel during the five-day holiday, one of China’s peak tourism periods each year, would help lift the travel and hospitality sectors that have been hit hard by disruption from the coronavirus pandemic.

The spike in tourism was led by increases in travellers from Wuhan, Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin and Jinan, with China having eased curbs on travel and relaxed rules on quarantine amid dwindling cases of the coronavirus.

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