Seventy-six days after it was plunged into an unprecedented lock down, Wuhan – the original epicentre of the novel coronavirus – has had its travel restrictions lifted by authorities.
It was welcome news for 11 million people who were forced into the most stringent restrictions seen on the planet more than two months ago amid the outbreak.
On Tuesday, thousands began flocking to train stations ahead of the midnight lifting of travel restrictions.
Cars queued at roadblocks soon to be dismantled, and the city’s airport readied itself for a busy flight schedule as of Wednesday.
As the clock struck midnight, buildings, streets and bridges across the city’s centre were lit up in a celebration recognising the landmark moment.
An announcement blaring over Wuhan’s main train station PA system said: “Wuhan deserves to be called the city of heroes. Wuhan people deserve to be called heroes.”
Many of those leaving were either migrant workers or those returning home for Chinese New Year, who became trapped within the city.
“In the end, everyone was stuck here together. There was definitely some difficulty,” a 25-year-old man told AFP.
“But we just had to restrain ourselves and stay home.”