'Expensive and hard to book': China to limit travel ahead of New Year, Winter Olympics

ByRyan Curry via KGO logo
Saturday, January 15, 2022
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China is limiting travel from the United States to help limit the spread of the omicron variant.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Edward Siu's travel company is currently in the negative. He helps people plan trips back to China, but right now, he is having a hard time doing so.

"We have no income," Siu said. "We still have to pay rent, utilities and everything. We are in the negative."

The reason being is China is limiting travel from the United States to help limit the spread of the omicron variant.

RELATED: US could lose all flights to China ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics

February 1st begins the Chinese New Year. A few days later is the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics.

What was normally supposed to bring large amounts of tourism to China, has now turned into a period of lockdowns and travel restrictions.

According to Siu, there are normally eight to 10 direct flights to China each day. Now there is only one United Airlines flight to Shanghai, but that may soon change to zero.

"There is only one right now," Siu said. "It is expensive and hard to book. Otherwise you have to go through Seattle or LA."

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He says China also has heavy restrictions on who can travel. Siu says only people traveling on business or people seeing loved ones with serious health conditions can apply for visas.

He is telling people to avoid planning trips for a few months.

"I tell them wait for three months. That is best, and then see what happens. Hopefully the omicron surge goes down," Siu said.