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Disneyland and Great Wall: China reopens first tourist sites

09 May 2020 / 13:35 H.

SOME of the world’s first tourist landmarks to be shuttered by the pandemic were in China, following the outbreak the novel coronavirus there at the start of the year.

More than three months after a massive lockdown on travel, China is reopening major tourist hotspots, including Disneyland Shanghai.

The theme park is set to reopen on May 11 after being closed for more than three months due to the coronavirus outbreak, the company said on Wednesday.

The announcement comes days after the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Great Wall of China were reopened to visitors after weeks of being closed.

Parks and museums large parts of in China have also opened their doors again, although tickets had to be ordered online and the number of visitors was severely limited.

The Forbidden City, also called the Imperial Palace, is only allowing 5,000 visitors a day, whereas previously 80,000 were allowed.

Urban parks are allowing 30 per cent of the usual number of visitors, with temperatures being taken at the entrances. Various businesses have reopened in recent weeks across China, where authorities are reporting very few new coronavirus cases per day.

Visitors also have to wear face masks and show a green code on a mobile phone app that is now widely used in China to prove people are not ill and have not had contact with people infected with the coronavirus. Visitors also have to maintain physical distance from each other.

Disneyland Shanghai will meanwhile initially run at a reduced capacity and will require visitors to keep a safe distance from one another, wear face masks and have their temperatures checked.

The park will be cleaned and disinfected more frequently than usual and provide hand sanitizer to visitors, the company said.

Shanghai Disneyland is the first of the US company’s theme parks worldwide to reopen since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in January.

The company said Tuesday revenue in its parks unit was down 1 billion dollars in the second fiscal quarter.

The opening of tourist attractions for May Day is another sign that China has the virus under control.

The Health Commission announced only 12 new infections nationwide on Friday, six of which were Chinese nationals returning home from abroad. No death has been reported for more than two weeks.

However, observers assume that many cases have not been counted in the statistics.

The authorities called on the population to continue to be careful and take precautions during the five-day May Day holiday. It is expected there will be a third fewer train journeys than the previous year. – dpa

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