3,000 Tourists Visit Wuhan's Largest Theme Park On First Day It Reopens
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A popular theme park in Wuhan has been allowed to open for the first time since the area went into lockdown earlier this year - welcoming 3,000 tourists on its first day back in action.
Yesterday (19 May), Happy Valley Wuhan welcomed visitors who could prove they were virus-free, which they were able to do by providing a green 'health code' in an app on their mobile phones, which was scanned by staff upon entry.
The theme park - which is situated in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province in central China - let people though the gates using tickets that had been pre-ordered online, a move that comes as part of its partial reopening.
Along with temperature screening, wearing masks is also mandatory when visiting the park, which will be continuing to operate with a reduced daily capacity of 20 percent.
After reopening for the first time in 117 days, more than 3,000 visitors passed through its gates to enjoy attractions including a 135kph (83mph) rollercoaster.
Happy Valley said it is disinfecting rides after every use, and has also put up signs reminding people to keep a distance of at least 1.5m (5ft) between one another at all times.
Wuhan, which had been the epicentre of the virus, ended its lockdown on 8 April, but now officials now feel confident enough to allow entertainment venues like theme parks to reopen.
Indoor activities, however, remain suspended, with officials still wary of the possibility of a second outbreak.
Happy Valley has said so far it will not be allowing group tours, and there would not be holding any shows involving large crowds.
But in a bid to boost visitor numbers, the park is offering customers 'return' tickets, whereby passes purchased on or before 30 June can be refused for free entry on 30 September at the beginning of China's 'Golden Week' holidays.
One unnamed tourist who visited the theme park yesterday said: "This is the first time I've been on a roller coaster with a mask on.
"At least now no one will be able to see my face when they take a photo of me screaming."
On 14 May, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announced an ambitious plan to test all 11 million city residents in 10 days, with officials saying the '10-day battle' was the only way to ensure the safe reopening of schools and business.
Officials said that on Monday 18 May, the city had conducted 467,847 nucleic acid tests, while reporting 15 new asymptomatic cases.