Germany’s amusement parks are gradually reopening after months of coronavirus shutdown.
The huge Europa Park in the southwest of the country is among the first to resume operations on Friday.
The park, sited on the Rhine River, some 30 kilometres to the north of Freiburg, was taking visitors for the first time in six months as part of a trial approved by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
The amusement park, which bills itself as Germany’s largest, will be open to a maximum of 10,000 people per day under strict hygiene conditions.
In normal times, the park’s maximum capacity is twice that figure and in 2019 it hosted a total of almost six million visitors.
It follows the considerably smaller Heide Park near Soltau in Lower Saxony, which opened its doors on May 1 following a court ruling, according to information from Germany’s VDFU association of amusement parks.
Other German parks will have to wait.
VDFU Chief Executive, Juergen Gevers, was sharply critical of the delay, terming it “unacceptable”, while zoos in some parts of the country had been open for months.
The Taunus Wunderland Park, to the west of Frankfurt, is planning to open on June 1 to season ticket holders and to the wider public on the following day.
This is, however, subject to infection figures remaining low.
Indoor facilities will remain closed.
Large states, such as Bavaria and North-Rhine Westphalia, have yet to announce plans for reopening.