NEARLY 30,000 people threw social distancing concerns out the window and gathered on a mountain in China to watch the sunrise today.
Mount Tai, in the eastern Shandong Province, stopped selling tickets after reaching its daily visitor capacity of 29,000 at the start of the Labour Day holiday this morning.
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Images show visitors, most of whom are wearing surgical masks, packed shoulder to shoulder as they hike up and down the steps and trails at Mount Tai, which is one of China’s five 'Sacred Mountains.'
As China appears to have passed the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, nearly 70 per cent of the country’s registered scenic areas, including parks and zoos, are now open, the China National Tourism Administration said.
The virus is believed to have jumped from animals to humans at a food market in Wuhan.
However, the Communist Party has reportedly been accused by US intelligence of downplaying the extent of their outbreak with the official death currently standing at only 4,633.
The central government in Beijing issued strict orders for scenic areas to limit tourist capacity to no more than 30 per cent amid concerns over the spread of Covid-19.
Mount Tai sold no physical tickets and only accepted online reservations, which can be ordered just before entering the turnstiles.
It attempted to allow tourists in at different times in order to avoid large crowds, but it still had to shut its gates after reaching its capacity in hours.
According to reports, several thousand visitors had arrived before dawn and began hiking up to see Labour Day’s first sunrise.
The national park began restricting tourist flow when it reached 18,000 people.
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