Brazil's COVID-19 outbreak epicenter Sao Paulo to reopen amusement parks

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(File photo: social media)

SAO PAULO, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's southeast state of Sao Paulo, the epicenter of the country's novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, will allow amusement parks to reopen on Sept. 23 with social distancing measures in place, officials said on Wednesday.

Sao Paulo Secretary of Tourism Vinicius Lummertz, accompanied by the state's Governor Joao Doria, listed the social distancing measures at a press conference: "The parks must admit 40 percent of capacity, advance ticket sales online, temperature control at the entrance and mandatory use of masks."

Home to 46 million inhabitants, the most populous and industrialized state in Brazil has a high number of amusement parks, theme parks and water parks.

"There are a hundred parks -- it is the largest concentration of amusement parks in all of Latin America -- which generate some 26,000 direct and indirect jobs," said Lummertz.

According to Brazil's Ministry of Tourism, four of the 10 most visited water parks in Latin America are in Sao Paulo, where the region's first confirmed case of COVID-19 was registered on Feb. 26.