Japanese theme parks urge guests not to scream on roller coasters

Twenty-year-old Japanese women dressed in kimonos take a ride on a roller-coaster after their "Coming-of-Age Day" celebration ceremony at Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo on January 14, 2019. (Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

While Japan’s new normal under life with the coronavirus involves the standard like wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and working from home, one particular request from theme parks came across as unnatural, or should we say funny?

As Japan relaxes lockdown measures after two months of social distancing, according to amusement park reopening guidelines, visitors should wear masks and avoid “speaking loudly” on thrill rides.

Yes, it seems parkgoers are expected to contain their excitement while on roller coasters and avoid screaming. Perhaps they can take a leaf from Mr Bean and channel their inner peace to wear a poker face like him.

As for indoor attractions like haunted houses and mascot interactions, park staff should refrain from having physical contact with guests and should maintain an appropriate distance.

Other than the seemingly ridiculous request, the remaining guidelines are pretty straightforward: limiting admission to parks and attractions, checking guests’ temperatures and denying entry for those with fever, ensuring regular disinfection, and encouraging cashless payments and advance purchase tickets.

It is hard to imagine what an amusement park will look like if everyone remains quiet. Silently experiencing all the attractions can be quite creepy, isn’t it? Perhaps it is a better choice to enjoy Japan’s thrill rides virtually from home for now.

Many countries have taken a variety of measures when it comes to dealing with the notorious coronavirus. Japan had declared a state of emergency, requesting its people to avoid close-contact settings. Although just a soft lockdown, Japan has managed to keep its total infected cases and total deaths relatively low for a densely populated country with an ageing population. With new infection cases dwindling over two months of self-discipline and social distancing, Japan lifted the state of emergency late last month, and is moving on to adopt a new COVID-19 lifestyle.