Japan Theme Parks to Reopen Amid COVID-19, No Screaming Allowed

No Screaming: Japan Prepares for Amusement Parks to Reopen Amid COVID-19

Thrill-seekers are required to wear masks at all times and refrain from screaming.

As Japan amusement parks spring back to life, there are new measures initiated to operate the fun fair safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The East Japan and West Japan Theme Park Associations have prepared a document to set in motion the new practices. It is titled “Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Infection of the Novel Coronavirus” and has the consensus of Oriental Land Japan and USJ. The two companies oversee the iconic Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan respectively.

The paperwork presents a slew of policies. While most of them are tenable, one recommendation will catch you on the hop. 

It reads: Roller coasters and other conveyance-style attractions: Have guests wear masks, and urge them to refrain from shouting/screaming.”

This means that when the train goes up steeply to a soaring height and plummets precipitously into a spine-tingling drop,  you can no longer scream your head off.

Not projecting loud piercing cries will prevent riders’ breath, saliva, and other mouth-sourced particles from flying around. This is imperative as the new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets. This imminent measure will help to reduce the risk of transmission. 

Other policies

Image credit: Esther T

  • Ghosts lurking in haunted houses will have to maintain a safe distance from guests. 
  • Costumed characters are to refrain from shaking hands with eager fans. 
  • Special glasses or goggles at virtual reality attractions have to be sanitised regularly. 
  • Park staff members will conduct temperature screening at entry points.
  • Guests are to wear masks at all times.

“These guidelines will not bring infections to zero, but will reduce the risk of infection,” the operators divulge.

They are also not enforceable at the present moment.

Also read: Japan Proposes to Pay Half of Tourist Expenses to Restart Travel Industry

Image credit: Roméo A.

Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan have been closed since 29 February. This came into effect as stringent social distancing measures to curb the spread of the fatal virus were introduced.

The extended closure took a toll on the amusement parks in Japan. Ticket sales account for a significant percentage of their revenue.

However, the two iconic parks remain closed as of now with no reopening date set.

Japan is showing nascent signs of having the situation in hand. Previously facing a high risk of developing into a coronavirus epicentre outside of China, it has lifted a nationwide state of emergency after confirming low cases of COVID-19 infection.

The government is seeking to revive the tourism industry – badly battered by the novel coronavirus. Foreign visitor numbers to Japan slumped by 99.9 per cent.

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Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


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