Shanghai Disneyland reopens with social distancing

“I want to be where the people are!” she cried, sweeping an arm through the air as jets of water shot up, shimmering in front of a pink pastel castle.To get more shanghai breaking news, you can visit shine news official website.

“I want to see, want to see them dancing,” Ariel sang as an entranced crowd leaned forward, faces masked, Mickey Mouse ears swaying in rhythm.

It was the second week since the reopening of Shanghai Disneyland, the first Disney park to resume the fun amid the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of isolation, visitors took to the fantasy land with abandon, exchanging, for a time anyway, a world of disease, recession and political turmoil for a socially distanced delirium of bubbles, churros, Snow White, Jack Sparrow and varying octaves of childhood songs.“I don’t know why, but I feel so happy just standing here,” said Chen Jie, 25, who was on her second visit to the park since it reopened.

Before the pandemic, Chen, a tech worker in Shanghai, would escape to Disneyland once or twice a week. Now she was back at last, bobbing up and down in Mickey Mouse knee socks, a Donald Duck hairpin, an Aristocats backpack and a surgical mask. She usually dressed up even more, she said.

Chen clapped as a brass band played “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” so excited that she accidentally stepped out of a yellow square taped on the ground.A worker — a sentinel of reality in a land of make-believe — quickly approached. “Excuse me, please stay within the box for the safety of all our guests.” Chen apologized, hopping back in the square.

Dozens of workers hovered around every line, concession stand and performance venue, shepherding families to stand in yellow boxes taped more than three feet apart, keeping people in line at arm’s length, and holding signs that read: “Please maintain a respectful distance from other guests.”It was one of the many new rules for reopening. More than three months had passed since Shanghai Disneyland shut its doors on Jan. 25, following nationwide orders to close public spaces and isolate people at home.

Only after months of strict social distancing, contact tracing, testing and quarantines did China’s infection and death numbers dwindle to the point where authorities deemed it safe to loosen restrictions.

In Shanghai, infection numbers were down to nine people as of Monday. Total deaths were seven, according to official data. Anyone coming from outside the city had to register with local authorities. Those entering from high-risk areas would be quarantined for two weeks, and anyone who’d come in close contact with suspected cases would also be tracked and quarantined.

The park was allowing in only 30% of its 80,000-visitor capacity per day. Reservations had to be made a week in advance online, and only visitors with a green QR code, which used phone data to prove they hadn’t been near any suspected cases, could enter. Everyone had to wear masks in what has become a small, changed world, after all.

“Shanghai hasn’t been too affected,” said Tommy Hong, 38, a dad wearing a Lakers jersey on a bench near the flying Dumbos, waiting for his wife and 3-year-old daughter to finish the ride. This was their first visit since the outbreak, but they weren’t worried, he said.