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New COVID-19 Guidelines Restrict Screaming on Roller Coasters in Japan

2020 is the year of the silent scream, and now it's part of Japanese COVID-19 guidelines.

wiangya/shutterstock
Roller coaster in Universal Studios Theme Park in Osaka, Japan. | wiangya/shutterstock
Roller coaster in Universal Studios Theme Park in Osaka, Japan. | wiangya/shutterstock

Helloooooo everyone and welcome to the Flying Dinosaur at Universal Studios Japan. Before we get started with the ride we kindly ask that everyone keep all body parts inside the car, use all safety equipment provided and, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, withhold all screaming and/or exclamations of delight throughout the entire ride. 

Amusement park enthusiasts in Japan might just hear this sort of Black Mirror-esque instructional before beginning roller coaster rides, now that the East and West Japan Theme Park Associations has released a new set of guidelines for more than 30 amusement park operators in the country. The regulations ask that riders “refrain from vocalizing loudly,” per AFP, as well as wear masks everywhere inside the park. 

The news comes three days after Japan officially lifted its state of emergency. Other announced regulations are similar to those presented in by Disney at Wednesday's reopening proposal in Orlando, Florida -- temperature checks, an emphasis on social distancing, and hand sanitizer stations. 

But the no-scream policy was not the only silly regulation with dark undertones released in Japan. According to AFP, the guidelines also said 'ghosts’ lurking in haunted houses should maintain a healthy distance from their ‘victims,’ and that employees dressed in costumes shouldn't high-five children. Womp. 

While theme parks in Japan have been closed since February, most major US theme parks only closed in March. But now both Universal Studios and Disney World in the US have proposed reopening dates, so we should definitely consider using our pandemic-enhanced internal screaming skills for the benefit of the people. 

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Ruby Anderson is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send your tips to randerson@thrillist.com.