Visitors are like VIPs as museums reopen

Li Qian
No crowds or queues as two of Shanghai's favorite attractions reopen on Friday after being closed for almost seven weeks because of coronavirus. 
Li Qian
Visitors are like VIPs as museums reopen
Sun Leqi / Ti Gong

Shi Yan, 3, and his aunt are the first to visit Shanghai Science and Technology Museum when it reopened on Friday.

Visitors are like VIPs as museums reopen
Sun Leqi / Ti Gong

There are few visitors at Shanghai Natural History Museum when it reopened on Friday. 

Visitors to the city’s two science museums received a “VIP service” on reopening day on Friday.

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and Shanghai Natural History Museum had been closed for about seven weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Before visitors were admitted at 9am, every corner had been disinfected and staff were wearing protective gear. 

The science museum is allowing no more than 9,000 visitors a day while the natural history museum figure is 4,779. However, by 3pm, only 88 people had visited the science museum, with 164 at the natural history museum.

These visitors enjoyed a VIP service as they didn’t need to wait in long queues to enter or jostled against others to enjoy the exhibits.

At 9:10am, 3-year-old Shi Yan and his aunt Zhang were the first visitors at the science museum.

The little boy, wearing a cute yellow cap, couldn't wait to see his "animal friends." As soon as he was allowed in, he forgot his red backpack in his haste to get to the museum’s “animal world.” “I’d like to see elephants,” Shi said.

Zhang said they live close to the museum, and have an annual pass as Shi is one of its super fans. Before the epidemic, he often visited the museum, but the epidemic has forced him to stay at home.

“We heard that the museum would reopen today, and decided to take him out,” Zhang said. “When we told him this morning, he was so excited and he quickly cleaned up his toys.”

Gu Qingsheng, the museum’s deputy curator, said: “At present, there are only two accesses for people to enter and leave, and we have stepped up protection measures, such as disinfecting exhibits and equipment after every time they are used.”

Indoor cinemas, theaters, dining venues and educational activity areas are staying closed, and interactive experiences and guide services are not available to prevent cross-infection.

Every visitor needs to have their temperature checked and show their health QR code. Children without a QR code must have a letter signed by an adult promising that they haven’t been to key infected areas and providing their contact information.

The two museums will be open from 9am to 5pm every day from Tuesday to Sunday, and will stop accepting visitors after 4pm.

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