Cities offer incentives to encourage staying put for coming holiday

Chen Xiaoli
Several places around China have introduced policies to encourage people to stay put during the upcoming Spring Festival as the country is battling emerging COVID-19 outbreak.
Chen Xiaoli

Although China is successful in bringing the pandemic under control, recent outbreaks of new locally transmitted cases in parts of the country have rung alarm bells for public safety ahead of the start of the Year of the Tiger.

To contain the further spread of COVID-19, several places around China have introduced policies to entice people to stay where they are during the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, Thepaper.cn reported.

Cities like Ningbo and Hefei will issue "cash bonuses" to migrant workers who remain in place during the holiday, while places such as Jinhua will provide vouchers as incentives.

In December, Ningbo, in Zhejiang Province, announced that non-local front-line staff who work in larger industrial and service firms and key project construction firms between January 26 and February 10 will be offered special allowances, equal to 100 yuan (US$15.71) per person per day, with the maximum not exceeding 500 yuan.

On January 8, Hefei, in Anhui Province, said it will give 1,000 yuan to employees who are non-natives of the province but working in the city's key enterprises, larger industrial and service firms, and major construction project firms, and remain in the city between January 26 and February 9.

On January 10, Wuhu, also in Anhui Province, announced that it will offer a 200-yuan-per-person subsidy to non-local migrant workers who stay in the city during the Spring Festival, with the maximum per enterprise not exceeding 200,000 yuan.

While in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, about 100,000 eligible employees who are not native of the province will be given e-vouchers worth 800 yuan per person.

Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel of China's National Health Commission, once said at a press conference that whether to stay put for the 2022 Spring Festival should be based on risk analyses in different regions across the country instead of a "one-size-fits-all" policy.

The Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported 166 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases: 118 were reported in Henan, 33 in Tianjin, eight in Shaanxi, and seven in Guangdong.

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