Empty stations as China's Lunar New Year migration begins

The Ministry of Transport forecast that about 1.7 billion people will be expected to travel during the new year holiday this year, a drop of more than 40% compared to 2019.

On Tuesday (January 26), a snaking queue of residents was seen at a coronavirus test centre in Beijing, with many eager to get a clean bill of health before heading back to their hometowns.

Millions of Chinese normally criss-cross the country to return home during the nation's biggest holiday, but authorities have rolled out stringent anti-virus measures in recent weeks after hundreds of new coronavirus cases were reported.

Beijing authorities had issued a notice on Wednesday (January 27) that people who travel to and from Beijing will need to show a negative COVID-19 test result, and must monitor their health for signs of infection for 14 days, though they will be allowed to move freely.