As Chinese plan golden week travel, South Koreans celebrating Chuseok are urged to stay home

As Chinese plan golden week travel, South Koreans celebrating Chuseok are urged to stay home

  • Millions of South Koreans usually fan out across the country for the autumn harvest holiday to visit family and gather for meals
  • But amid fears of a spike in Covid-19 cases, authorities are doing all they can to dissuade travel, with the PM urging people to ‘blame’ him for failing to visit their parents

In a normal year, Lee Kyoung-sook would be looking forward to bringing four generations of her family together to celebrate Chuseok, one of South Korea’s biggest holidays.

She would usually sit down for a feast with her husband, their octogenarian parents, their son and their grandchildren to mark the autumn harvest holiday. This year, though, the coronavirus pandemic means that when the five-day Chuseok period begins on Wednesday, Lee’s family reunion will be split into two smaller gatherings.

“It’s not worth the risk,” said Lee, who lives in the western suburbs of Seoul. “We have to be careful just in case.”