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Universal Beijing Resort opens amid rain and strict COVID-19 prevention measures

(Global Times) 14:27, September 20, 2021

Photo taken at the Universal Beijing Resort (UBR) in Beijing, capital of China. (People's Daily Online/Lu Yang)

Universal Beijing Resort officially opened for business on Monday at noon, after 19 days of trial operation. Amid the COVID-19 flare-up in E. China’s Fujian Province, the resort, coordinating with local public health departments, rolled out a series of strict epidemic prevention measures, including limiting the number of visitors and requirement of scanning health code in different zones.

The grand opening ceremony was held at 9:00 am Monday amid the heavy rain, with on-site performances featuring many Universal classic movie characters. Cai Qi, Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, Hu Heping, China's minister of culture and tourism, Chen Jining, mayor of Beijing, and Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Parks & Resorts attended the ceremony, media reported.

The resort officially began to welcome its first batch of tourists at noon on Monday, later than the usual opening time of 9:00 am, partly due to epidemic-control concerns.

Global Times reporters learned during the trial operation that nearly every indoor facility and store requires health code scanning. There are staff in different areas constantly reminding visitors to wear masks, and hand sanitizer is provided at entrance of every amusement facility.

“I scanned my health code at least 20 times and used hand sanitizers at least 10 times,” a visitor surnamed Qi told the Global Times. He said the measures are understandable given the huge number of visitors, especially since there are a lot of children and elders

Social distancing however is not easy to respect among visitors as most of the entertainment programs require people to queue for a long time. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, one of the most popular sites in the Universal Beijing Resort, normally requires 100 minutes of queueing time.

The resort also prepares an official app to show queueing time of every program, so that visitors can arrange tour routes efficiently.

In addition, local authorities, including public security bureau of Beijing’s Tongzhou District, have stepped up efforts to ensure the smooth opening of the resort. 

Universal Beijing Resort officially opens to the public after 20 years of planning and construction, with its official opening day, September 20, set one day before this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival and right before its National Day holiday. The park started ticket pre-sales to the public on September 14 at 12am. People stayed up late for the moment and tickets for the opening day of September 20 were snapped up within half an hour. The APP of the Universal Beijing Resort shows there are still tickets available for National Day golden week holidays. 

(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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