With China gradually easing restrictions after an alleged decline in coronavirus cases, large crowds packed the country’s popular tourist sites over the weekend despite health authorities still encouraging residents to take precautions.
According to CNN, park officials at the Huangshan mountain park in Anhui province had to stop accepting visitors as early as 7:48 a.m. on Saturday after the park had reached its 20,000 capacity. The Bund waterfront in Shanghai and the streets of Beijing were similarly crowded with flocks of people.
China residents had been under quarantine for about three months in an effort to contain transmission of the virus.
At its peak, thousands of coronavirus cases were recorded in China every day since it was first detected in the city of Wuhan. As of Monday, China reported only 39 new cases, and the government had gradually relaxed restrictions in an effort to return to normalcy.
However, healthcare professionals warn residents that the virus still poses a risk within the country.
“China is not near the end but has entered a new stage. With the global epidemic raging, China has not reached the end,” said Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The People’s Daily newspaper also warned Chinese residents and tourists not to gather after pictures of the dense crowds in Huangshan appeared on social media. According to the newspaper, Huangshan will no longer be receiving tourists as a result of the crowds.
Many businesses and tourist attractions remain closed as officials stay wary of sparking a second wave of infections in the country. Plans to re-open movie cinemas were canceled in late March, and several Shanghai attractions were open for just 10 days before they were shut again on March 31.
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