The nation’s top cultural and tourism authorities have announced upgraded measures for group tourism before the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays in a bid to curb COVID-19 infections.

Through March 15, all interprovincial group tours and airline + accommodation packages to and from land port cities other than those connected to ports in Hong Kong and Macau are suspended, according to a notice released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Interprovincial group tours and airline + accommodation packages will be halted immediately in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities where high-and-medium-risk areas are classified.

Travel agencies and online travel operators are ordered to enhance health monitoring of their staff and ensure regular nucleic acid testing of front-line staffers such as tour guides.

They should also arrange tour routes properly and control the scale of tour groups, according to the circular.

Strict and precise control and prevention measures should be in place during tour group organization and reception particularly during the two holidays.