A section of China's Great Wall has been reopened to visitors, in a sign that the country's tourism industry is cautiously recovering from the Covid-19 epidemic. While the reopening has many obstacles, the measures could be adopted by other national landmarks in a post-virus world.
As of the 24th of March the Badaling section of the Great Wall, which is under 50km north-east of Beijing's city limits, said it would be open to visitors from 9am to 4pm daily.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak officials had taken the precaution to cap visitors at just 65,000 a day. The 70 km stretch was in danger of being overrun and damaged tourist numbers.
Now, tourist numbers will be restricted further to protect them from themselves.
The wall will only allow 20,000 visitors a day to minimise the risk of disease communication.
Tourists must now buy tickets in advance and undergo health checks on site. A visit now costs around $60.
All visitors must register for access to the wall with their Alipay or WeChat apps, which also store health records. Their temperatures are also checked on arrival.
The wearing of face masks and social distancing are enforced across the Badaling section. Over the 12 kilometre stretch of wall, appropriate space shouldn't be too difficult to find.
Much of the Badaling site will still remain closed. The Great Wall Museum and cable car will not open to the public, and the rest of the national landmark is still off limits during the public health crisis.
However, this partial opening is at least a sign that confidence is returning to the tourist site since the it was closed to the public on January 25.
While china's other classical treasures such as The Forbidden City in Beijing and Terracotta Mausoleum in Xi'an remain closed to the public, a route to recovery is being paved for tourism sites.