Ministry to waive road tolls until outbreak ends

Fuhe Toll Station on the Daihuang Expressway in northern Wuhan, Hubei province, is closed, as the city has been put into lockdown because of the ongoing pneumonia outbreak. [Photo by Yuan Zheng/For China Daily]

China will waive all road tolls across the country from Feb 17 until the control of the novel coronavirus outbreak is finished, the Ministry of Transport said on Saturday. All toll roads, including bridges and tunnels, will be free for all vehicles, the ministry said on its official WeChat account. It said provincial transport authorities should formulate plans, implement responsibilities, refine measures to maintain smooth transportation, protect people's lives and health and ensure transportation of products and living materials during the epidemic.

It will also provide strong support for the stabilization of the overall economic and social situation, the ministry added.

China has extended the Spring Festival holiday, which had been scheduled to end on Jan 30, and strengthened its epidemic prevention work to ensure safe travels during the holiday travel rush.

The ministry's statistics show the country's railways, roads, waterways and civil aviation saw about 12 million passenger trips on Friday, a decrease of 82.7 percent over the same day last year, as well as 1.4 billion passenger trips from Jan 10 to Friday, a 47.5 decrease from the same period last year.

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