China to close Beijing’s Forbidden City for increasing fears over virus threat

Published on : Saturday, January 25, 2020

China will close Beijing’s Forbidden City, which is one of the country’s most admired cultural sites due to increasing fears over a new SARS-like virus that has infected hundreds and killed more than a dozen.


The sprawling imperial palace will close on Saturday until further notice to “avoid cross-infection caused by the gathering of people.”


Beijing’s Forbidden City, which witnessed 19 million visitors last year, is usually packed with tourists during the Lunar New Year festival, when hundreds of millions of people travel across China.


As part of national efforts, the city authorities have cancelled large-scaled Lunar New Year events this week for controlling the spread of the Wuhan virus.


In a post on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo, city authorities said that the move was to assist in epidemic prevention and control.


Beijing Tourism Net, regulated by the city’s Bureau of Culture and Tourism, added in a separate Weibo post that the Beijing Ditan and Longtan Temple Fairs scheduled for January 25 to 29 would be canceled.


Beijing Tourism Net said that the Tanzhe Temple Scenic Area, Jietai Temple Scenic Area, and Miaofeng Mountain Scenic Area in Mentougou District would also be closed.


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