The hope that life might finally return to normal seemed in the offing with two announcements last week. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a notice giving a green light to cross-province tourism for low risk provinces and autonomous regions. That was followed a day later by the China Film Administration issuing a notice allowing cinemas in low risk areas to open if measures to prevent and control transmission of the novel coronavirus are in place.
Fifty percent of the visitor capacity is the cap for the number of tourists a scenic spot can receive and the upper limit for cinemas is 30 percent of a screen's audience capacity.
There are already reports about some well-known scenic spots receiving their first tourist groups from neighboring provinces. And there have been discussions online among friends or relatives about where to spend summer holidays together.
It is indeed necessary for cross-province tourism to resume and cinemas to open since most parts of the country have not reported any new infections for three or four consecutive months.
It is almost half a year since scenic spots and cinemas received their last batch of visitors, which means they have had no income at all over the past six months.
On the other hand, people have quarantined themselves at home for too long, which may cause psychological problems for some. People need the food for the soul that nature provides and most people enjoy immersing themselves in a movie.
The country's meticulous efforts to fight against the virus from the very beginning and the contribution of all Chinese people to the fight have made it possible for the channels of transmission for the virus to be cut off. All these have helped create the environment and climate for tourism to resume and cinemas to open.
Yet the cluster of new infections reported in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in the past couple of days is a reminder that vigilance cannot be relaxed even if a locality has remained a low risk area for months.
For scenic spots and cinemas that are reopened, control and preventive measures must be in place. Temperatures of all tourists and film viewers must be checked carefully to prevent those with suspected symptoms from entering.
Tourists and viewers need to have the awareness that they abide by all the rules for the prevention and control of the virus. If they develop a symptom such as a fever, they must quarantine themselves. And when going to a scenic spot or a cinema, people must wear a mask and exercise social distancing.
Prevention and control measures and the caution of everyone are the way to ensure the complete resumption of all services.