Families with children view an elephant in Children’s Grand Park in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
Thousands of people visited the zoo in Children’s Grand Park on May 1, when it reopened after closing down due to the spread of COVID-19. All the indoor animal exhibits are still closed and only around 50 percent of the outdoor exhibits are open, but that did not stop parents from bringing their children to the park over the long weekend.
“On Saturday we had around 25,000 visitors and on Sunday we had 29,000,” said Chun Jin-woo, the head of operations at Children’s Grand Park. “Last year on Children’s Day, 96,000 people visited the park. We expect 50,000 to at most 80,000 people this year, but it’s hard to estimate in these times,” he said.
Children’s Day is the busiest time of year for Children’s Grand Park. While all the festivals and events, such as animal feeding at the park, have been canceled, families looking to go out for Children’s Day are still expected to visit. Admission to the park is free.
The park has taken multiple precautions to ensure safety from the new coronavirus.
Heat scanners have been installed at all entrances to the park, and those with symptoms are not allowed to enter. Also, parts of the outdoor facilities remain closed so that people can only walk in one direction from the entrance to the exit to see the animals. Stroller rentals are not available until further notice, and people are advised to keep a distance of 2 meters while waiting in line and viewing the animals.
“We are not actively promoting that we are open. If we don’t open our outdoor facilities, families don’t have many places to go on Children’s Day. We thought opening the outdoor facilities would be safer than people going to other indoor facilities. We are still very cautious,” said Chun.
The park will reopen all of its facilities once the government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are lifted.
By Lim Jang-won (firstname.lastname@example.org