Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

Chinese tourists flaunt social distancing rules at Wuhan scenic spots

Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists flaunt social distancing rules as they flock to scenic spots in Wuhan after officials made them free to enter

  • Online footage shows large crowds of visitors queuing at Wuhan’s scenic spots
  • Most of them are seen standing together closely and some without face masks
  • Hubei officials offered people free entries to dozens of local tourist attractions
  • Comes as China has seen surges of COVID-19 cases across the nation since June

Tens of thousands of Chinese visitors have swarmed to tourist attractions across Wuhan despite the global pandemic after officials made dozens of them free to enter.

Social media footage shows large crowds of people standing together closely as they queue outside local scenic spots. Some even ditched wearing face masks.

It comes after the provincial government has offered citizens free entries to visit over 20 tourism destinations in the former coronavirus epicentre since Friday.

Social media footage shows large crowds of people standing together closely as they queue outside local scenic spots in Wuhan over the weekend. Some even ditched wearing face masks

China appeared to have largely brought the coronavirus outbreak under control through a series of lockdowns and restrictions.

But the country has recently seen a new spike of infections in the north-western province of Xinjiang and the north-eastern city of Dalian. Both regions have used draconian measures to fight the disease.

On Friday, Hubei officials announced in a press briefing that nearly 400 five-star scenic parks across the province would be free to enter from August 8.

The new policy is said to be ‘an appreciation to Chinese people for their selfless support to Hubei during the coronavirus outbreak’, according to local newspaper Chutian Metropolis News, citing a senior official.

Visitors are required to book their appointments in advance. They are only allowed to enter the tourist attractions after having their temperatures checked and showing their dedicated health codes, according to Wuhan tourism authorities.

The offer, which will remain till the end of the year, has seen tens of thousands of Chinese people flocking to scenic spots across Wuhan over the weekend.

Footage emerged online show several Wuhan parks being jam-packed by large crowds of visitors following the new announcement.

One video allegedly sees a long queue of tourists at the Wuhan Madame Tussauds flaunting coronavirus rules as they stood in close proximity while some even ditched face coverings.

Local authorities were forced to temporarily closed the online booking system after the site was viewed by over 10 million people following the new scheme.

Officials have urged visitors to avoid travelling at peak times and make reservations in advance.

Last week, thousands of Chinese beer lovers also left their face masks and virus worries behind to gather in large crowds and raise a much-needed glass at the annual Qingdao beer festival, the largest booze festival in Asia.

At the festival, which opened on Friday and will run until late August, drinkers were eating and drinking together, watching shows and fireworks and sampling the more than 1,500 types of beer available.

On Monday, Chinese authorities reported 49 confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 84,668. The country’s death toll remains at 4,634.

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