By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIJING (Worthy News) – Authorities of several nations were on edge Sunday after China began marking “chun yun,” the 40-day period of Lunar New Year travel, despite international concerns about the spread of COVID-19 infections.
The world’s largest annual migration of people began ahead of the Lunar New Year public holiday on January 21, which will be the first since 2020 without domestic travel restrictions.
Many families were expected to be reunited after three years of restrictions and lockdowns that impacted millions in China and beyond.
Emotional loved ones embraced each other in airports and train stations.
On Sunday, mainland China also opened its border to Hong Kong, dismantling the last pillars of a zero-COVID policy that authorities said could shield people from the virus.
But the policies also cut them off from the rest of the world, and they were eventually abandoned after massive protests.
The harsh lockdown policy hugely impacted the world’s second-biggest economy and generated resentment throughout Chinese society.
Sunday saw the final unraveling of those rules, with inbound travelers to China no longer required to quarantine after almost three years of being subjected to varying durations of mandatory isolation.
Yet with many in this nation of 1.4 billion people traveling in China and beyond, other countries are imposing mandatory testing and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Half of China’s 1.4 billion people will be infected by the novel coronavirus in the coming months, critical experts have said.
China’s Communist leadership has stopped releasing data on new cases despite international worries.
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