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'SO JEALOUS': World-famous destination swamped with tourists

Remarkable photos show thousands of people flocking to an iconic tourist hotspot in the country where Covid-19 was first reported.

The stunning images show people walking along the top of the Great Wall at Badaling, as people celebrate Labour Day, also known as May Day, in China.

In the photos, only some people were wearing masks and little social distancing was being observed.

Thousands of people visit the Great Wall during the labour day holiday in Beijing on May 1. Source: AFP
Thousands of people visit the Great Wall during the Labour Day holiday in Beijing on May 1. Source: AFP
People visit the Great Wall during the labour day holiday in Beijing on May 1, 2021. (Photo by Noel Celis / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Few wore masks and social distancing was not observed on the Great Wall on May 1. Source: AFP via Getty Images

According to the Global Times, a notice was released regarding the Badaling Great Wall, saying online reservations for Saturday through to Monday topped the limit of 48,750.

People in awe of China's crowds

People online expressed how envious they were of those walking along the Great Wall of China.

"So jealous," one person said in response to a video shared by Leo Ramírez, a video journalist for AFP based in Beijing.

"The passenger flow during the May Day holiday this year is enough to prove China's remarkable effectiveness in fighting the epidemic," another person tweeted.

The world's second largest economy is expecting some 265 million journeys by road, train or boat during the five-day holiday, a transport ministry official said this week — numbers last seen in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Key cities such as capital city Beijing, as well as Shanghai and Guangzhou, are expected to see greater demand this Labour Day holiday, said transport official Li Huaqiang.

"The number of people would have basically returned to levels seen in the same period in 2019," he added.

But Chinese authorities sounded a cautious note ahead of the break, warning that tourist attractions should impose restrictions on visitor numbers and have ticketing systems to control the flow of people.

Wuhan's Yellow Crane Tower saw 40,000 visitors on May 1, which is about 80 per cent of capacity.

"There are many people taking photos of the tower and walking on the bridge [across the Yangtze River], it feels like going back to 2019," a Wuhan resident posted on social media, according to the Global Times.

Tourists visit the Yellow Crane Tower on the first day of the May Day holiday on May 1 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Source: VCG via Getty Images
Tourists visit the Yellow Crane Tower on the first day of the May Day holiday in Wuhan. Source: VCG via Getty Images

Covid-19 was first detected in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan and there have now been over 150 million cases reported worldwide.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, China has recorded over 100,000 Covid cases since the start of the pandemic, with over 4800 deaths.

While the coronavirus outbreak has been largely brought under control in China, fresh outbreaks at the start of the year prompted authorities to urge migrant workers to stay home over the Lunar New Year.

With AFP and Reuters

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