30 percent of Beijing’s scenic spots reopened as COVID-19 ebbs

By Wan Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/20 16:09:41

Aerial photo taken on April 2, 2019 shows the scenery of Yanqi Lake in Beijing, capital of China. The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is to be held on April 25-27 in Beijing. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)

Beijing has reopened 73 tourist attractions, accounting for 30 percent of the total, while 165 remain closed, as the COVID-19 epidemic situation eases.

The reopened scenic spots are mainly located in three suburban districts of Beijing, and include Yanqi Lake, Qinglong Gorge in Huairou district, Yunmeng Mount in Miyun district, Yeyahu National Wetland Park and the International Horticultural Exhibition park in Yanqing district, as well as the Great Wall scenic areas in all three districts, reported the Xinhua News Agency on Monday. 

The city will resume operations of outdoor sightseeing spots and fitness venues in a safe and orderly manner, said Tan Xuxiang, an official at the municipal development and reform commission, at a press conference on Friday. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic ebbing and spring arriving, Beijing residents have started to go to scenic spots during weekends and holidays. 

To prevent the possible spread of the virus among tourists, all scenic spots are required to keep visitor numbers to below 30 percent of their maximum receiving capacity, according to a notification on COVID-19 prevention and control work jointly issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the National Health Commission on April 13. 

Tourists also have to make appointments either on e-commerce platforms or on the websites of the scenic spots to make a visit during the pandemic prevention period, the Global Times learned from the Beijing bureau of culture and tourism on Monday. 

Wang Huan, a Beijing resident who booked an e-ticket for a visit at Yanqi Lake on Sunday morning, told the Global Times on Monday that he was not allowed to enter the lake in the afternoon with his morning ticket when he ran late. 

"The lake staff said that a maximum of 5,000 tourists were allowed during each time slot. People cannot get in with a ticket reserved for a different time," said Wang. 

Tourists only need to show a "no abnormal" health status on their Beijing health app before entering, and other COVID-19 related health certificates are no longer required, according to the press conference. 

Besides Beijing, other cities have also gradually reopened their tourist attractions as the pandemic ebbs in the country. 

In Central China's Hubei Province, the region hit hardest by the virus, the resumption rate of major cultural and tourism projects reached 94 percent as of April 12, with 228 scenic spots opened for tourists, said an official from the provincial culture and tourism bureau at a meeting on April 13, according to media reports. 

In East China's Jiangxi Province, as of April 9, 134 AAAA scenic spots have been opened to the public, reaching 92 percent of the total, reported a Jiangxi-based newspaper on Friday.

Li Lanjuan, a renowned Chinese epidemiologist, also encouraged people to visit scenic places for the coming May Day holiday.

"People should have a good rest during the upcoming holiday, and can go for a scenic visit at places where it is not too crowded," said Li in an interview with Chinanews on Wednesday, adding that under the global situation, China is the safest place for people to travel around." 

Beijing has seen a relaxation not only in scenic tourism industry but also in the city's beverage, delivery and other industries. 

Restaurants and dining places are open for all customers who hold a "no abnormal" health status on their health app, but large gatherings are still restricted, according to a guideline released by the Beijing municipal commerce bureau on Monday.

Residential communities are also gradually opening to deliverymen, housekeeping workers and others who offer services in the community. Before getting in, they have to show a healthy status and also get an entrance pass, said a municipal government official at Tuesday's press conference.

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