In what should send a message of hope to countries currently in the white heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, a section of the Great Wall of China has re-opened to visitors.

Visitors at the newly-opened Great Wall of China
The Badaling section of the wall has re-opened © Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The Great Wall has been closed since 25 January, because the coronavirus first presented in early January in the Chinese city of Wuhan. More than 81,000 people around the country contracted it and over 3200 people died, but restrictions are easing now that the country is reporting a near-zero community transmission rate. As the country slowly returns to normal, the Badaling section of the wall has re-opened.

A man wearing a health mask at the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China
Visitors to the Great wall must wear masks © Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Badaling is the most popular section of the wall for visitors and it is located northeast of Beijing, stretching from Bei Liu Lou to Nan Wu Lou Ban. It is open daily from 9am to 4pm and only 19,500 people, or 30% of the usual number of visitors, are permitted into the area for now. Visitors must book a ticket in advance, and will have their temperatures checked on arrival. In addition, they must have a green (healthy) Health QR code, which is a system operated through the AliPay or WeChat app that determines which individuals are allowed to use public spaces and transportation.

A chinese family wearing a protective masks as they visit the Badaling Great Wall
Visitors must follow rules around social distancing © Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Those visiting the wall are required to wear face masks and must remain at least one metre away from one another. To facilitate this, a one-way circular tour route has been designed to prevent the gathering of crowds. As a gesture to the work they have done during the crisis, medical staff and active military personnel are being granted free entry.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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