No screaming please: Japanese amusement parks publish new Covid-19 guidelines

No screaming please: Japanese amusement parks publish new Covid-19 guidelines

(CNN) – Thrill-seekers in Japan will soon be able to enjoy their favorite roller coaster again now that amusement parks across the country are reopening.

But there is a request with which they may have difficulty: nothing screams.

With Japan suspended the state of emergency this week, a group of major theme park operators introduced a series of guidelines on how to ensure the safety of guests and staff facing Covid-19.

Theme parks in Japan have published guidelines that suggest visitors to keep silent and wear masks while walking, making scenes like this a thing of the past.

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Many of the articles are predictable, recommending an increase in sanitizing measures, regular body temperature checks and the use of a face mask, emphasizing the importance of social distancing.

But some elements will probably surprise visitors. That is to say, a suggestion that theme parks encourage visitors to ride outdoor attractions, including roller coasters, to avoid shouting or cheering – a difficult 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 themselves at least one meter away from visitors.

Japan 2020 amusement parks covid-19

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

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

Customer service may also be compromised, take note of the guidelines, as conversations should be as short as possible.

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

The guidelines were issued by the Eastern and Western Japan Theme Park Associations, which are made up of over 30 major amusement park operators in Japan, including Oriental Land Company (operator of Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea) and Universal Studios Japan .

Japan 2020 amusement parks covid-19

Legoland Japan, in Nagoya, was reopened to visitors on May 23, 2020.

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

Aside from the published guidelines, some amusement parks have implemented their own rules.

Fuji-Q Highland, a theme park at the foot of Mount Fuji, famous for its haunted house experience, is only opening its outdoor attractions and only allows visitors living in the prefectures of Yamanashi, Nagano, Niigata and Shizuoka to enter.

The main theme parks in Japan have been closed since February to combat the spread of Covid-19. Although some Japanese theme parks are starting to welcome guests again, Tokyo Disneyland and universal Japan have yet to announce the reopening dates.

CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.


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