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No shouting, please: Japanese theme parks release new Covid-19 guidelines



(CNN) – Thrill seekers in Japan will soon enjoy their favorite roller coaster again when the amusement parks around the country open up again.

But there is a request they might struggle with: No screams.

When Japan lifted the emergency this week, a group of large theme park operators introduced a set of guidelines on how to ensure the safety of both guests and staff ahead of Covid-19.

Japan theme parks 2020 covid-19

Theme parks in Japan have issued guidelines that suggest that visitors silence and wear masks during rides, making scenes like this a fairy tale.

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

Many of the articles are to be expected, and recommend increased cleansing measures, regular body temperature checks and facial mask use while emphasizing the importance of social distance.

However, some articles are likely to surprise visitors. Namely, a suggestion that theme parks encourage visitors to go outdoors, including roller coasters, to avoid screaming or cheering – a tough question given how wild some of the country’s rides are.

The guidelines also state that if it is difficult for some employees to wear masks due to the nature of their work – for example, entertainers, such as haunted house staff – they should keep at least one meter away from visitors.

Japan theme parks 2020 covid-19

Visitors wearing face masks ride on a roller coaster in the Tochinoki Family Land amusement park on May 17, 2020 in Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan.

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

Customer service can also be compromised. Note the guidelines, as calls should be kept as short as possible.

“As a new style of customer service, even when wearing a mask, you can use a combination of smiley eyes, hand gestures, etc. to communicate with visitors,” says one of the suggestions.

The guidelines were issued by the East and West Japan Theme Park Association, which consists of more than 30 major theme park operators in Japan, including Oriental Land Company (operator of Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea) and Universal Studios Japan.

Japan theme parks 2020 covid-19

Legoland Japan, in Nagoya, opened again to visitors on May 23, 2020.

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

In addition to the published guidelines, some amusement parks have implemented their own rules.

Fuji-Q Highland, a theme park at the foot of Fuji Mountain, which is known for its haunted house experience, opens only its outdoor attractions and allows only entry for visitors living in Yamanashi, Nagano, Niigata and Shizuoka prefectures.

Major theme parks in Japan have been closed since February already to combat the spread of Covid-19. Although some Japanese theme parks are beginning to welcome guests again, Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Japan have not yet announced the opening date.

CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.


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