China to limit travel ahead of Lunar New Year, Winter Olympics to limit spread of omicron variant

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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Edward Siu’s travel agency is currently negative. He helps people plan trips back to China, but right now he’s struggling to do so.

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

The reason for this is that China restricts travel from the United States to help limit the spread of the omicron variant.

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

February 1 begins the Chinese New Year. A few days later the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics takes place.

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

According to Siu, there are normally eight to ten direct flights to China every day. There is only one United Airlines flight to Shanghai left, but that could soon become zero.

“There’s only one at the moment,” Siu said. “It’s expensive and difficult 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 for business or people seeing relatives with serious health conditions can apply for a visa.

He tells people to avoid planning trips for a few months.

“I tell them to wait three months. It’s better, then see what happens. Hopefully the omicron push goes down,” Siu said.

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