Health and Travel Safety Tips for Chinese New Year Celebrations

15 January 2020 ,  —


  • 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

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 social unrest can occur, as well as the risk of illnesses need to be considered.

This year, the official Chinese New Year holiday will commence on 24 January and ends on 30 January.

Dr Irene Lai, Global Medical Director Medical Information and Analysis at International SOS China, comments, “The Spring Festival holiday coincides with the flu season in the northern hemisphere. There is also a developing situation with a new coronavirus in Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province, with dozens of cases of pneumonia. At least two infected people have travelled from Wuhan and been diagnosed at their destination. There are many unknowns, and information is rapidly changing. Travellers are advised to monitor the situation, pay attention to general hygiene, and avoid wet markets.” For the latest information on the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus, clients and members should access the medical alert on the International SOS location guides, and the Pandemic Information Service website. 

Tony Ma, Director of Client Liaison for International SOS, 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. During the Spring Festival holidays, China’s four first-tier cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, are still the main places of "tidal departures," and the pressure on transportation safety is huge. When travelling, pay attention to the impact of bad weather, possible problems such as the illegal operation of passenger vehicles, the overloading of trucks, the inadequate installation of road safety warning signs in remote areas, the lack of protective facilities in some sections, and relatively weak management capabilities.”

Ma adds, “Travellers heading to Chinese New Year celebrations around the world should also be aware of these common issues that can affect crowded places. Please stay vigilant at all times.”

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Notes to Editors

About the International SOS Group of Companies

The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help you meet compliance reporting needs for good governance. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group is trusted by 11,000 organisations, including over half of the Fortune Global 500, multi-national corporate clients and mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 11,000 multi-cultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.   

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