Those traveling to Asia in the near future should be mindful of the many tourist attractions and public spaces closing down as officials work to stop the spread of the mysterious coronavirus.
As of Friday, the Chinese government says the virus has reached six countries other than their own — Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Vietnam and Singapore — though the majority of cases still reside within China and its provinces. Officials say there are currently around 830 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 26 people have died from the respiratory illness.
In an attempt to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus, which health officials determined can move from human to human through the air or by touch, many popular attractions in and around China have been closed or are preparing to close to the public.
As of Friday, the following tourist attractions have been closed indefinitely, or will be closed in the next couple of days:
- Parts of the Great Wall of China near Beijing (specifically Juyonggang Great Wall Scenic Area)
- Shanghai Disneyland
- National Museum of China
- Yinshan Pagoda Forest
- The Ming Tombs
- Beijing’s National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest
- Beijing’s Forbidden City palace complex
Along with tourist landmarks, other public spaces in China are shutting down during the coronavirus outbreak. According to CNN, McDonald’s temporarily closed down restaurants in five cities in China beginning Friday.
Many cities, including Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus, have also been placed under indefinite emergency travel restrictions. All public transport in and out of the city — which has a population of 11 million — has been halted as of 10 a.m. local time on Thursday.
Celebrations for the upcoming Lunar New Year, the country’s biggest holiday, have even been cancelled in some cities. Typically, Chinese citizens travel throughout the country to celebrate, which amounts to the largest mass migration in the world.
In Beijing, officials are canceling the usual fireworks displays and fairs for the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, as it’s known in China.
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Stateside, the CDC is stepping up precautions at international airports around the U.S.
Travelers coming from China to five airports — San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — will undergo “enhanced health screenings” to ensure that they do not have the virus.