Thousands pack into Chinese national park as lockdown relaxed - shock pictures

Up to 20,000 tourists visited the Huangshan National Park in Anhui. Pictures show people packed into the attraction without appearing to follow social distancing measures.

Many wore face masks but some did not have protective equipment.

Visitors can be seen crammed side by side on the narrow pathways between the mountains.

The park, which has reopened after closing on January 25, waived its entry fee to attract tourists.

Visitors underwent health screenings including having their temperatures taken.

But the park was forced to turn people away after reaching full capacity.

Officials are offering free entry to 31 attractions in Anhui from April 1 to 14 in a bid to boost tourism.

It comes as China, which has reported 81,708 coronavirus cases and 3,330 deaths since the outbreak started in Wuhan in December 2019, has begun relaxing strict lockdown restrictions.

READ MORE: China sparks fury over coronavirus disinformation

The death rate has also been declining in Italy.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s premier Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a doctor to help during the pandemic.

And Norway’s health minister has said the country’s outbreak was under control following criticism over its relaxed approach.

Japan is set to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other regions after a surge in cases.

Iran has reported 3,739 deaths and 60,500 cases of the virus.

A US official has warned the country is entering the "peak death week”.

In the UK, there have been 51,608 confirmed cases and 5,373 have died.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care with coronavirus.

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