Welcome to Japanese amusement parks in the coronavirus era.
Now that the government lifted the state of emergency, the amusement spots in Japan are slowly reopening. In order to reduce the risk of infection, park operators have released guidelines on how to operate safely under the threat of the virus. The guidelines were made and issued by the East and West Japan Theme Park Associations, which are made up of over 30 major amusement park operators in Japan.
According to the guidelines, visitors are asked to wear masks at all time and refrain from speaking/screaming loudly. Japan’s theme park associations are telling roller-coaster riders and thrill-seekers entering haunted houses not to scream but to keep silent. There’s a movie of two executives from the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park (the place is known for one of the scariest coasters of Japan that goes 80 miles per hour) showing an example of this new style of enjoying the entertainment wearing masks and holding the safety bars tightly, and off course without screaming.
Don’t worry if you can’t stay silent. The screaming ban is voluntary and riders won’t be charged or punished!
People need to keep social distance in haunted houses without exception. Scary looking ghosts and zombies won’t get closer to you any more. They keep a healthy distance of at least 1 meter away from visitors, so don’t worry about getting killed or eaten by them.
You are invincible in Japanese amusement parks now.
Here’s something sad. Park staff dressed as mascots and superheros will not shake hands or high-five with you. Heroes in fights with villains won’t whip up support from spectators to prevent cheers and screams. Instead, they will give you some gestures or smiley faces to communicate with you.
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the revenue of amusement parks altogether in Japan dropped 97.5% in March (compared to last year), causing about 17.7 billion yen loss.
Business owners of parks are struggling to find some ways to regain profit at the same time preventing the infection.
Disney land and Sea in Japan have already reopened on July 1, and Universal Studio will reopen from July 20, and it seems that the new guidelines will remain effective until the outbreak of coronavirus ends.
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