People are packed at Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), a jagged range of more than 70 knifelike peaks in eastern China’s Anhui province, after quarantine ban lifted in most parts of China #CoronavirusPandemic pic.twitter.com/SiVunZJys5
— Keith Zhai (@QiZHAI) April 5, 2020
Qingming Festival 2020
April 4 is the first day of this year’s Qingming Festival, where people sweep the tombs of their ancestors to pay respects. The Chinese are given three days to celebrate this festival, so they’re essentially on a long weekend, which usually makes this holiday a great opportunity to travel. And it seems Chinese citizens are taking advantage of this holiday right after the long quarantine period and strict lockdown measures.
The Qingming Festival, or Tomb-Sweeping Day, is an important festival in China when people offer sacrifices to their ancestors. It falls on April 4 this year. Qingming Festival is the best time for spring outing, take children outside and get closer to nature .#FancySanya pic.twitter.com/FG2FinxmUv
— Sanya Tourism (@VisitSanya) April 6, 2020
Tourist spots flooded with crowds
In China’s Anhui province, Huangshan Mountain waived its 190 yuan (nearly PHP 1400) entrance fee, thus allowing thousands of people to enter without restrictions. The tourist spot actually reached their daily limit of 20,000 entries as early as 7:48 AM, according to Global Times’ report.
#Huangshan Mountain, a 5-A tourist attraction in East #China‘s Anhui Province, closed to tourists on Sunday morning due to an overflow of tourists after it exempted its 190 yuan ($26.7) entrance fee to residents of the province to promote tourism amid #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/DAffe2zhI1
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) April 5, 2020
Overflowing with tourists, the Huangshan scenic area in Anhui, #China halts ticket sales on Apr. 5 as it reaches the daily limit of 20,000 tourists. Staff workers there say Anhui residents can enter the scenic spot for free. https://t.co/H51oEoUgXx pic.twitter.com/myljKYyYnF
— The Paper 澎湃新闻 (@thepapercn) April 5, 2020
In Zhejiang province, tourists are flocking to a Hangzhou garden to celebrate the festival. Shanghai’s Bund waterfront saw its usual crowd of tourists and shoppers come back after weeks away, while the capital Beijing saw an influx of people filling public parks.
Hundreds of tourists are pouring into a #Hangzhou garden in East China’s Zhejiang province. Many say they’re still cautious about personal health. But the return of visitors could help breathe new life into the economy. 1st quarter domestic travel decreased by 56% @CGTNOfficial pic.twitter.com/19VPKVAeTD
— Roee Ruttenberg (@RoeeRuttenberg) April 5, 2020
While many people are still wearing masks, there are some that eventually took them off, thereby increasing the risk of transmission of the virus.
Concern over a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak
While reports say that the number of new infections in China has been falling, people have expressed their concerns about the high risks of transmitting the coronavirus in such crowded places. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only just stabilized in China, do you want it to break out again?” a Weibo user asked.
Another Weibo user said that the free entrance policies should have been discouraged because “the pandemic is not over yet.”
I’ve been to Mount Huangshan a few times and indeed, it can get very crowded, especially at holiday time. Precautions are being taken, but there are still considerable numbers of people in close proximity.
— MAC-DUFF THP (@MACDUFF_THP) April 6, 2020
Prof KY Yuen said this morning it’s “hypothetical” (he emphasised) that mainland China would have the 3rd wave of infections after resumption of social and economic activities, and HK would in turn too. “This cycle will go on until up to 70% of the population got antibodies.” https://t.co/L1AbeQP7kU
— Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪 (@XinqiSu) April 5, 2020
Twitter users all over the world are expressing their worry about another spike in the number of cases in China, but despite establishments reporting that precautions are being taken, many remain anxious. And maybe rightfully so.
What do you think of this surge in China’s tourism?