Photos of tourists packed onto the Great Wall of China look like they were taken years ago

  • Photos from China’s Labor Day show people packing the Great Wall like pre-pandemic days.
  • China eased travel restrictions on March 15, and trip reservations are increasing.
  • China’s COVID cases are down, and CDC classifies the country as a low-level risk for coronavirus.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Photos of tourists at the Great Wall of China last weekend look like a scene from 2019.

Thousands of people packed the attraction on May 1, The Sun reported, some with masks and some without.

It was Labor Day, and China’s Transport Ministry estimated that Chinese travelers would take a combined total of more than 260 million trips over the holiday weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported.

China eased travel restrictions on March 15, CNN reported, allowing residents to return and some travel from other countries “for work or humanitarian reasons.”

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So far, travelers entering China must have had the Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine 15 days before entering and recent negative COVID tests.

According to a website for visiting a popular section of the Great Wall called Mutianyu, patrons should wear masks and are “strictly forbidden to gather in piles.”

But the photos tell a different story.

Crowds of people are seen crammed shoulder to shoulder in-between the two sides of the wall.

This isn’t the first time the Great Wall has seen a shocking number of visitors during the pandemic. Back in October 2020, China saw a similar scene over Golden Week, an eight-day national holiday, as CNN reported.

Despite guidelines to maintain about 3 feet of distance between other patrons from the Badaling Special Administrative Region Office, tourists are seen filling the wall to the brim, and some appear to be wearing masks while others had them pulled down to their chins.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies the country as a low-level risk for coronavirus.

In February and March of 2020, China saw thousands of new cases a day, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). At its highest point on February 13, 2020, China saw more than 15,000 new cases, WHO reports.

On May 3, China reported 17 new confirmed cases, according to Reuters.

At the same time, China is ramping up vaccinations by the millions, as Reuters reported. On April 30, the country had administered about 265 million doses. By May 1, the number jumped up above 270 million.

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