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3 in 4 Seoul citizens have no travel plans during Chuseok: poll

Three in four Seoul citizens don't have any plans to visit their hometowns or travel long distances during the Chuseok holiday due mainly to fears of coronavirus transmission, a poll showed Saturday.

In the survey of 849 citizens aged 18 or older, 56.8 percent said they have no plans to travel long distances during Chuseok, while another 16 percent said they have canceled their holiday travel plans due to COVID-19.

Merely 12.4 percent said they have travel plans during the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving, with 14.8 percent saying they are still undecided whether to travel.

Chuseok, one of the country's biggest traditional holidays, usually serves as a chance for family members to visit their hometowns or travel. The extended three-day Chuseok holiday runs from Wednesday to Friday. The holiday can be extended to five days when the Oct. 3 National Foundation Day and Sunday are included.

The poll was jointly conducted by Seoul National University and the Seoul Institute earlier this month, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, with a confidence level of 95 percent.

It found 45.7 percent of those who have holiday travel plans are in their 20s or 30s. Four-member families also accounted for 37.1 percent of those planning to travel long distances during Chuseok.

Local quarantine authorities have expressed fears that a massive population movement during Chuseok might pave the way for the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, 92.7 percent of the survey respondents said they consider the current coronavirus situation in Seoul as "serious," nearly double from 47.4 percent in a similar poll conducted between April and May.

It also found 82.3 percent willing to comply with far stronger social distancing guidelines than now. (Yonhap)