Chinese New Year 2019 Celebrations Health and Safety Tips

23 January 2019 ,  Beijing

Be fully prepared for a healthy, safe and enjoyable Chinese New Year, wherever you celebrate in the world
- Top tips for safety and security in crowded places
- Useful hotel safety checklists for travellers

With the Chinese New Year holiday fast approaching, International SOS, the world’s leading medical and security risk services company, offers practical advice to help travellers stay safe, secure and healthy.

Along with those lucky enough to be visiting or staying in China for the celebrations, anyone attending Chinese New Year celebrations in cities around the world, such as New York, London or Sydney, should also take health and security precautions. The popularity of the celebrations worldwide inevitably result in large crowds, where vigilance is recommended, and incidents, from petty crime to attacks can occur, as well as the risk of illnesses need to be considered.

This year, the official Chinese New Year holiday will commence on 4 February and ends on 10 February including a weekend.

Chinese New year 2018 Main image
Tony Ma, Director of Client Liaison for International SOS and Control Risks China, commented “While China is rated a low travel risk1, it is expected that petty crime could surge during the celebrations. This should be anticipated particularly in crowded areas, such as temple fairs, public transport hubs and tourist sites. Please stay vigilant at all times.”

Dr. Echo Li, Medical Director of Assistance Service for International SOS China, suggests, “After a hardworking year, it makes sense that people simply want to make the most of the holidays to relax and enjoy a great time with family. However, it is prudent to remind people that risks can be all around during this busy festive season. There will be increased traffic on the roads, the ‘flu season is ongoing in the northern hemisphere, and medical institutions potentially have shortened opening hours. Good preparation and awareness to these risks are crucial to consider for a healthy and safe Spring Festival.”

Known as the biggest human migration, the Spring Festival travel season (or the “Chunyun” in Mandarin), is expected to see more than 406 million passengers delivered by the national railway network alone this year. It is estimated that more than 400 million people will travel during the long holiday this year, and, among which, 7 million will embark on international trips2.

With the exponential growth in travel demand over the holiday and accommodation options multiplying, Tony Ma further reminded travellers that, “When it comes to choosing accommodation, safety often does not make it to the top of travellers’ considerations. But your accommodation is where your spend a third of your time. It is critically important to take safety into account when selecting your hotel.”

Internationals SOS offers the following Hotel Safety Checklist for travellers over the holiday season.

Choose hotels that have…
- Surveillance systems in lobby and around the grounds.
- Well-controlled access to the main entrance.
- Security guards.
- Resilient communication capabilities.
- Multi-lingual staff, particularly if you don’t speak the local language.

Choose a hotel room that is…
- Away from lobby or public areas.
- Near an emergency exit.
- Equipped with a keychain, deadbolt and spy-hole.
- Without interlocking doors.
- Located on 2nd to 6th floors.

- Research the area surrounding the hotel: avoid areas associated with high crime and protests.
- In areas where there are significant threats from conflict or terrorism, choose a hotel away from main roads and government or diplomatic buildings.
- Consider the timing of your trip to avoid potentially disruptive events or protests.

Be vigilant throughout your stay
- Check that the locks on doors and windows work inside your room and use them.
- Familiarise yourself with emergency evacuation plans and routes.
- Don’t share your room number.
- Pack and use a door stop.
- Have a grab bag of essentials including your passport, water, and phone charger prepared in advance.
- Leave the light on so that you can easily check that the room is secure on returning. If a room key card is required to keep the electricity on, request an extra one.

Download the International SOS hotel safety white paper here and pocket book here.

Notes to Editors

1 Travel Risk Map 

2 Ctrip “2019 Spring Festival Holiday Travel Trend Forecast Report”

About International SOS and Control Risks

Our alliance brings together two of the world’s leading medical and security specialists, International SOS and Control Risks. Our combined resources and expertise are well placed to meet the customers’ growing need for integrated travel security risk services. Our solutions ensure that mobile employees are safe and productive and help employers with their duty of care obligations. 50 dedicated experts, located across the globe with access to over 200 dedicated travel security experts through 26 regional Assistance Centres and a partner network of over 700 accredited providers, produce global travel security information and analysis 24/7. We also provide travel security training, preventative travel assessment, support with the development of travel security risk policies, evacuation plans and the latest technology to enable clients to track and communicate with their mobile employees.