Video report by ITV News Asia Correspondent Debi Edward
In theory, the people of China were expected to go back to work but the streets were quiet as many chose to extend their holiday instead.
Schools were shut and workers stayed at home in the capital, Beijing, following the lunar holiday owing to coronavirus fears.
The virus has killed more than 900 and another 40,000 have fallen ill.
Many have resorted to panic buying, with items such as rice, water, noodles and cleaning products top of shopping lists.
The government have ensured food suppliers are exempt from travel bans, meaning fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are wildly available still.
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Tourist attractions were left closed as the authorities aim to limit crowds in order to reduce coronavirus spreading.
The scene was reminiscent of the one in spring 2003 when the SARS outbreak forced many to retreat to their homes.
It is hoped the increasing temperatures and falling infection rate will alleviate fears in the region.
The process of returning to normality with be a long one, as the economy slowly recovers.