|Visitors shop at a street market in Gwangju, South Jeolla Province, Sept. 25, where merchants have prepared fruits and other foods for the upcoming major Chuseok holiday next week amid the recent upsurge in COVID-19 infections. Yonhap|
Three in four of Seoul residents don't have any plan to visit their hometowns or travel long distances during the Chuseok holiday, mainly due to fears of coronavirus transmission, a poll showed Saturday.
In the survey of 849 residents aged 18 or older, 56.8 percent said they had no plan to travel long distances during the holiday, while another 16 percent said they had canceled their holiday travel plans due to COVID-19.
Just 12.4 percent said they had travel plans for the Korean fall commemoration and thanksgiving holiday, with 14.8 percent saying they were still undecided.
Chuseok, one of the country's biggest traditional holidays, usually serves as a chance for family members to visit their hometowns or more recently to travel. The extended three-day Chuseok holiday runs from Wednesday to Friday; but is being 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 at a a confidence level of 95 percent.
It found 45.7 percent of those who had holiday travel plans were 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 ― normally a regular annual occurrence ― might pave the way for the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, 92.7 percent of the survey respondents said they considered the current COVID-19 situation in Seoul as "serious," nearly double the 47.4 percent from a similar poll conducted between April and May.
It also found 82.3 percent were willing to comply with far stronger social distancing guidelines than the current ones. (Yonhap)