Jun 28, 2020
File this one under the “New Normal” coming after the COVID-19 pandemic— amusement parks have reopened around Tokyo and the rest of Japan but with new rules that are being enforced to make sure parkgoers stay safe. But some of them are a bit…unorthodox, to say the least.
You can expect to have your forehead scanned with an infrared thermometer upon entry to make sure you’re not running a fever. Better to let the attractions make people’s head swim rather than the ‘Rona. If you have a temperature at or above 37.5ºC, then you won’t get in.
Masks, Gloves and Hand Sanitizer
Make sure you bring your face covering; you can’t get in without one. Gloves and hand sanitizer are optional, but there are free sanitizer booths spread throughout most theme parks.
Maintain Proper Social Distance
Follow the signage and marks on the ground to make sure you’re standing at the proper distance while waiting in lines; also be aware that some rides may shut down/become capacity limited even if it looks like the crowds are thin. This also means there may be rows of seats left empty on rides, and big spaces in the stands at attractions. Facilities in enclosed buildings may have staff with “PAX counters” to keep check of how many people can enter at one time.
ABC: Always Be Cleaning
All attractions, vending machines, and other surfaces that patrons will contact are now cleaned every two hours or more. This may mean that that one ride you wanted to go on will be down for maintenance.
Half Open or Half Closed?
Expect certain attractions to be shuttered until it is safe to reopen all the way due to conditions that make it impossible to operate safely while under the COVID-19 operating guidelines. Any attraction where you’re sitting in an enclosed space for a long period of time such as animal or stage shows for example. Another one is were performers ask for crowd participation (think magic shows and animal demonstrations.)
No screaming or yelling!
I’m not sure how this one will be enforced, but even if you are riding a rollercoaster, you are supposed to stay silent. With the primary export of thrill rides being high-pitched shrills coming from its patrons, this is probably the most controversial headline-grabbing rule.
These form the backbone of the guidelines being followed in most of Japan’s amusement parks, but make sure to check the rule list for the park you plan on visiting in the coming weeks.