China’s Hubei invites people to enjoy cherry blossoms

Central China’s Hubei province, the former epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic, is inviting people across the country, especially medical workers who fought on the anti-epidemic frontline, to enjoy its cherry blossoms, according to a press conference held by the provincial government on March 3.

Photo shows the cherry blossoms at Wuhan East Lake Cherry Blossom Park in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province. (People’s Daily Online/Zhao Li)

The province will launch a cherry blossom-themed event from March 8, releasing a list of more than 40 scenic areas where the gorgeous cherry blooms can be enjoyed, including famous spots such as Wuhan University and Wuhan East Lake Cherry Blossom Park in the provincial capital Wuhan, as well as in other cities.

Hubei also recommended 10 travel routes for tourists looking to enjoy spring blossoms, including cherry, plum, azalea, peach, peony, and magnolia. The province will receive more than 100 tourist groups across the country and put on over 200 art performances.

Last year, over 42,000 healthcare workers in more than 340 medical teams from across the country bravely joined in the fight against the virus, putting themselves in harm’s way in Hubei, and had no time to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Wuhan, Xu Yong, deputy director of the province’s department of culture and tourism, said at the press conference.

To make up for that missed opportunity, Hubei will invite representatives of medical workers who assisted the province during the epidemic to enjoy its spring blossoms, Xu added.

Wuhan University will launch special events for medical workers and will not receive bookings from other visitors on March 13 and 14, Wu Ping, deputy president of the university, said at the press conference.

In addition to arranging a welcoming ceremony for medical workers, the university will recommend the best routes and offer pick-up and guide services as well as performances for them, Wu explained.

Medical workers can also enter the campus during the cherry blossom viewing season after making appointments through designated online channels (its official website and WeChat account), which will open at 8 p.m. on March 5, Wu added.

Medical workers who assisted Hubei in the anti-virus fight can also enjoy special discounts while shopping at large shopping malls, supermarkets, major business districts, and e-commerce platforms in the province, Hu Zhonghai, deputy director of the province’s department of commerce, said at the press conference.

However, COVID-19 prevention measures should be implemented at tourist spots, restaurants and hotels in Hubei, and reservation policies at scenic spots should be observed regularly, with visitor caps and staggered access put in place. 

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