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Social distancing still needed when visiting scenic sites

By WANG YIQING | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-06 08:14
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A screenshot of kankannews shows tourists wear one-meter caps at at the Shiniuzhai Scenic Area in Pingjiang county of Yueyang, Hunan. 

A "one meter cap" for those visiting a tourist spot in Hunan province during the Labor Day holiday week went viral on social networking sites, the innovative epidemic prevention and control measure winning wide acclaim.

The Labor Day holiday was the first long public holiday since the novel coronavirus outbreak forced the entire tourism industry to shut down for more than three months.

As the epidemic has now been largely controlled, tourism authorities are eager to restart business and make up for the loss. Citizens who have remained indoors for long are also looking forward to getting close to nature.

However, given the huge population flow toward scenic spots during vacations and the existence of asymptomatic virus carriers, the authorities cannot lower the guard yet, underlining the importance of social distancing measures.

The authorities at the Shiniuzhai Scenic Area in Pingjiang county of Yueyang, Hunan, came up with a novel one meter cap to solve the problem.

The one meter cap is a real cap, with a meter-long balloon tied to it, which the authorities gave visiting tourists for free. It automatically forced tourists to keep the required social distance.

Tourists welcomed the innovative measure as caps of various colors enhanced the scenic area's beauty.

The cap is proof good management policies can effectively achieve epidemic prevention and control measures in a more humane way.

Quarantine measures, though necessary, also cause inconvenience, more so now with the epidemic largely contained and people raring to return to their normal lives.

However, given that the all clear has still not been sounded, it makes sense to not forget social distancing yet.

Authorities elsewhere would do well to borrow a page from Shiniuzhai's safety measures' book to ensure people's lives return to normal while ensuring the epidemic does not make a comeback.

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