BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- China saw a 73-percent year-on-year increase in passenger trips made Wednesday, the fifth day of the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, the Ministry of Transport said Thursday.
The passenger trips topped 35.3 million Wednesday, but it was still 38.2 percent lower than the pre-pandemic level in 2019.
Of the total, 8.59 million train trips were made, up 73.6 percent year on year, and 24.35 million road trips were made, up 72.5 percent year on year. Wednesday also saw a 70.3 percent rise in air trips and a 102.3 percent hike in waterway trips.
The first day of the first lunar month is the Spring Festival and being around family members at the turn of the year is a ritual for the Chinese people. This year's Spring Festival fell on Jan. 22.
In the past two years, most Chinese people stayed put during the festival amid virus curbs, but the country's shift in COVID-19 response has brought a change.
The growing travel demand is a result of China's recent downgrading of COVID-19 management from Class A to Class B. Under Class B management, travelers no longer need to present health codes and negative nucleic acid test results or undergo temperature checks when entering railway stations and airports.