Residents remain at home for quarantine in a medium-risk community in Chengdu, Sichuan province, December 10, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]
Supportive policies have been rolled out to encourage employees to stay in the city they work in for the Spring Festival holidays, in an effort to avoid the rush to travel and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Some cities are also encouraging employees to continue working during the holidays from February 11 to 17 and to avoid traveling to their hometowns to help their businesses meet their production goals. Incentives include payment of overtime and subsidies for remaining employees who work during the holidays, free food and accommodation, free tickets to local tourist sites and organized vacations for another time of the year. During the annual Spring Festival travel rush, which begins January 28 and ends March 8, the country experiences the world’s largest human migration as people travel to their hometowns for meetings of the family. Chinese railways are expected to carry 407 million passengers during the However, people are starting to reconsider their travel plans due to recent cases of the coronavirus. Hebei Province said on Sunday it had nearly 400 patients with COVID-19 and asymptomatic carriers. Many local governments issued notices last week, calling on people not to take “unnecessary” trips to their hometowns to avoid the spread of the virus. Some cities have advocated family reunion dinners of less than 10 people and urged that greetings be sent online or over the phone. Cold chain workers import food industry, where there have been a number of infections, have been encouraged to report their plans in advance. Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, told a press conference on Saturday advising people to stay in their work city and reduce travel for the holidays as a precaution against the spread. virus. He also encouraged staggered travel periods and said people should shop online if possible. Public events such as conferences should limit the number of participants, while large holiday gatherings such as scenic tours should limit and control the flow of people, he added. Working Overtime Zhejiang province issued a notice on Thursday, urging cities and businesses to encourage employees to stay at work during the holidays in order to stabilize production and help improve the economy this year. Companies can offer grants, improve catering conditions, and organize short cultural tours to encourage non-local employees to stay in the cities in which they work. She also urged companies with large orders to increase production in the first quarter, so that employees have enough work during the holidays. Han Jilin is the production manager of Ningbo Xiasha Precision Manufacturing Co, a gear manufacturer from Zhejiang. He decided to stay in Ningbo for the Spring Festival because the number of orders this year is higher than last year. “A series of welfare and stimulus policies provided by our company also made me stay,” said Han, who is from Yanbian, Jilin Province. He had originally planned to return to his hometown to visit his parents over the holidays, but staff shortages and uncertainty about preventing the outbreak forced him to cancel his travel plans. The company, located in Zhenhai District in Ningbo, has more than 800 employees, including 560 outside the city. As of Sunday, nearly 500 employees decided to stay in Ningbo during the Spring Festival holidays. “Each employee who chooses to stay for the holidays will receive a grant of 1,000 yuan ($ 154),” said company general manager Xia Ting, who added that returning home after the travel rush was also encouraged and that the company would pay for their travel costs. Many companies offer similar policies. The Ningbo Economics and Information Technology Bureau said that since many companies in the city have a large number of foreign trade orders to fill, a closure during the Spring Festival would result in huge losses of business. income. “The measures to encourage workers to stay in the factory during the Spring Festival are aimed at maintaining production capacity after the holidays,” said Wu Huaquan, director of human resources department of Dongguan Sumida (Taiping) Electric Co , Guangdong province. Sales of the Dongguan-based company – invested by Sumida Group, a global manufacturer of high-quality inductive components and modules – rebounded sharply in the second half of last year, Wu said. Workers staying in Dongguan during the Spring Festival will each receive 900 yuan in subsidies, with an additional 100 yuan per day to work during the holidays, Wu said. Nearly 30% of the company’s workers will return to their hometowns for family reunions during the holidays, according to the company. “Encouraging workers to stay in Dongguan will help reduce the flow of passengers during the holidays, which is of great importance in preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wu said.