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China holiday: Millions on the move for Golden Week

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Hundreds of millions of people in China are marking this year's National Day holiday with gatherings and quick getaways.

National Day, which marks the founding of the People's Republic of China, coincides with this year's Mid Autumn Festival.

It is estimated that 550 million people will travel domestically during the eight-day holiday referred to as "Golden Week". It's thought that 13 million passenger trips were made on Thursday - the highest figure since February, according to state media.

The coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. China appears to have largely stopped the spread of the virus, and most restrictions have been lifted.

Images from China are worlds apart from a nation that was under lockdown earlier this year.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionIn Hangzhou, huge crowds of people were seen waiting for their trains

China's Railway Service estimates there will be 108 million trips during the eight-day holiday.

image copyrightReuters
image captionPassengers were also seen waiting outside Beijing Railway Station

Despite huge passenger numbers on Thursday, the figure is still less than the 17 million trips made on the same day last year.

image copyrightReuters
image captionIn Beijing, people gathered to watch a flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square

In the capital, some people used the opportunity to attend the flag-raising ceremony on the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

image copyrightEPA
image captionScores of people are seen on the Great Wall of China

Others used the opportunity to visit tourist spots.

Travel service Qunar told Reuters news agency that economy flights to some tourist areas in China such as the southwestern city of Lijiang had sold out.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPeople walk close to The Bund in Shanghai

China's aviation authority estimates that bookings for domestic flights have increased by 10.5% on last year.

Last year seven million people travelled abroad to destinations such as Thailand but with restrictions in place across the world, many countries are out of bounds for travellers.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPeople visit the Leshan Buddha in Sichuan province

In anticipation of huge crowds at China's tourist spots, the Chinese government has instructed all sites to restrict their admissions to 75% of their usual capacity.

image copyrightReuters
image captionPeople queue outside Beijing Railway Station

China claims it has recorded 90,545 cases and 4,739 deaths since the outbreak began.

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