Wuhan drinkers flaunt social distancing rules at beer festival

Thousands of Wuhan drinkers flaunt social distancing rules as they enjoy a week-long beer festival days after packed rave at a water park sparked international controversy

  • Thousands of drinkers flocked to a week-long beer festival in Wuhan on Friday
  • The busy event kicked off last weekend amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis
  • Festival-goers were pictured standing shoulder to shoulder in large crowds 
  • Some visitors had opted not to wear face masks at the jam-packed festival

Thousands of drinkers flocked to a week-long beer festival in Wuhan this week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Wuhan Beer Festival kicked off last weekend with many of the festival-goers flaunting social distancing rules as crowds were seen standing shoulder to shoulder.

This comes soon after a rave at a water park sparked controversy just days earlier, as the venue was seen packed with mask-free visitors.

Pictures taken at the beer festival on Friday showed families attending the festivities and gathering in large crowds.

Thousands of visitors were pictured gathering in large crowds at a week-long beer festival in Wuhan on Friday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Festival-goers were pictured enjoying bottles of beer at the Wuhan Beer Festival, which kicked off last weekend

Many visitors opted not to wear face masks to the busy event in Wuhan, which has not seen any recorded cases of community transmission since mid-May

A man wearing a face mask lies on a bench on Friday during the week-long Wuhan Beer Festival in Hubei, China

Temperature and security checks are taking place on arrival, with visitors being told to expect more health regulations on arrival

A man drinks a bottle of beer as others gather around him and raise their glasses at the week-long beer festival in Wuhan

Festival-goers were also pictured enjoying bottles of beer and standing at bars, with some opting not to wear face masks at the busy event.

The beer festival is aiming to stimulate the city’s nighttime economy in places where drinks, food and entertainment are already offered, according to Chinese state media.

Temperature and security checks are taking place on arrival, with visitors being told to expect more health regulations on arrival, CGTN reported.

But the main venue in Dongxihu District did not expect tens of thousands of visitors, according to the organiser.

Li Jiange, deputy chief of the Business Bureau of Dongxihu, told Chinese television company CGTN: ‘We didn’t have enough on the first day, as many places serving beer and food were sold out within just half an hour. So, we doubled it the next day, but all of it went quickly again.’

Officials said they are undergoing daily disinfection prior to the event and health workers are also monitoring the crowd.

Wuhan gradually lifted a 76-day lockdown and strict restrictions in April to try and control the spread of the coronavirus.

Large crowds were pictured standing shoulder to shoulder and flaunting social distancing rules amid the coronavirus pandemic

According to the organiser, the main venue in Dongxihu District did not expect tens of thousands of visitors to attend

The beer festival is aiming to stimulate the city’s nighttime economy in places where drinks, food and entertainment are already offered

The beer festival comes just days after  a rave at a water park sparked controversy, as the venue was seen jam-packed with mask-free visitors

A beer promotor wearing a face mask is pictured at the Wuhan Beer Festival on Friday

There have been no new domestically transmitted cases officially reported in Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital, since mid-May.

To try and boost the local economy, the Hubei government has been offering free entry to 400 tourist sites across the province. 

This comes just days after Chinese state media defended a rave which saw thousands of visitors pack out a water park in Wuhan.

Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was jam-packed by mask-free revellers on August 15 despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Pictures showed some of the crowd at the pool party donning life jackets, but none of the tightly-packed partygoers were seen to be wearing face masks as a DJ in bright yellow headphones played on stage. 

Global Times, an English-language newspaper backed by the Chinese Communist Party, has hit back at critics who saw the party as a slap in the face to the rest of the world.

The paper championed the testing of its nearly 11 million residents in Wuhan and the city’s strict lockdown measures, saying the massive pool party was ‘payback’. 

Its story, ‘Wuhan’s after-pandemic pool party sends a message to world: strict anti-virus measures have a payback’, was published on Tuesday.

Officials said they are undergoing daily disinfection prior to the event and health workers are also monitoring the crowd

Large crowds of visitors and families were seen enjoying the week-long beer festival in Wuhan

There have been no new domestically transmitted cases officially reported in Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital, since mid-May

To try and boost the local economy, the Hubei government has been offering free entry to 400 tourist sites across the province

Two visitors sit at a table and enjoy drinking beer during the Wuhan Beer Festival on August 21

The story read: ‘Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first reported and the one hit hardest by the virus, is now welcoming an influx of tourists, and its economy is reviving, which local residents believed should not only be seen as a sign of the city’s return to normalcy, but also a reminder to countries grappling with the virus that strict preventive measures have a payback.’

Global Times said the park, which reopened in June, took measures to protect visitors’ and employees’ safety, including temperature tests and disinfection, and capped the number of entrants to half of the pre-pandemic era.  

China appeared to have largely brought the coronavirus outbreak under control through a series of lockdowns and restrictions. 

But the country has recently seen a new spike of infections in the north-western province of Xinjiang and the north-eastern city of Dalian. Both regions have used draconian measures to fight the disease.

The first known cases of COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan late last year, a city of 11 million people, before the virus spread across the world, killing hundreds of thousands and crippling economies.

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