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Japan’s amusement parks are asking people not to scream on roller coasters

Temperature checks, face masks and no hugging costumed characters – here are the new guidelines for Japanese theme parks when they reopen

Tabea Greuner
Written by
Tabea Greuner

Amusement parks are meant to be exciting places, but they may be a lot quieter under the new safety measures introduced to limit the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. As Japan has lifted its state of emergency and cities start to reopen again, the East Japan and West Japan Theme Park Associations – the industry group whose members include the operators of Tokyo Disney Resort, Universal Studios Japan, Fuji-Q Highland, Yomiuriland, Sanrio Puroland and other famous theme parks across the country – recently compiled new guidelines (Japanese only) in preparation for venues reopening. 

Some of the rules are already mandatory at many museums, including temperature checks on entry (no admission for those with a fever), reduced visitor numbers, social distancing, and the use of face masks at all times. Officials also recommend using cashless payment options and purchasing your tickets in advance. 

It’s on roller coasters and other rides that the new rules become rather perplexing. The park associations are asking people to refrain from shouting and screaming when riding roller coasters and indoor attractions to reduce the spread of droplets that may carry the virus. Kids should keep their mouths closed at character shows, too. And you’ll also have to stop giving high-fives, handshakes and hugs to your favourite park characters. Plus, haunted house fans will have to get used to getting spooked from a safe distance.

If you’re a fan of virtual-reality rides, you'll have to keep waiting a while longer, as they can only operate if the headsets or glasses can be fully sanitised after use.

Reopening dates for Japan’s most popular amusement parks – Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka – have not been announced yet. We will keep you updated as soon as new information is released. In the mean time, you can take a virtual ride on some of Japan's scariest and most famous roller coasters.

For information on how to go out safely in Tokyo, click here.

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