Sapporo Snow Festival opens amid coronavirus fears, warm winter
Japan Today -- Feb 05
The annual Snow Festival began in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo on Tuesday, hit by fears over the coronavirus outbreak and soaring costs involved in transporting snow to the site amid a warm winter.

The number of visitors to the winter event in the Hokkaido capital through Feb 11 looks likely to dip below last year's record 2.74 million after China's ban on group travel due to the virus outbreak led to a mass cancellation of hotel bookings.

Unusually low snowfall since the end of last year has added to the headaches, with organizers having to go further than previous years to procure the snow needed to create the giant snow and ice carvings that are the centerpiece of the festival. At total of some 200 sculptures of various sizes are on display at three venues.

With up to 120 large trucks deployed daily to deliver snow -- twice as many as usual -- transportation costs could exceed the 46 million yen ($423,000) allocated in fiscal 2019 through March.

4日から開幕の「さっぽろ雪まつり」。新型コロナウイルスの影響で、観光客はマスク姿が目立ちます。  マスク着用や、せきのエチケットなどをポスターや放送で呼び掛け、消毒液も設置。11日までの期間中に約200万人の来場者が予想されるなか、近隣の小学校では感染を恐れて恒例だった雪像見学を中止するところもあるそうです。  横浜の大黒ふ頭沖に停泊中の大型クルーズ船は現在も検疫のため足止めが続いています。新型コロナウイルスの感染者が船内にいたことは3日に初めてアナウンスされたそうです。検疫の状況を乗客に聞きました。  乗客:「検疫については、乗客は80%完了した」  なお、横浜市によりますと、4日中の着岸はないとしています。  また、菅官房長官は中国・武漢市からチャーター機で帰国した人などに対する経過観察期間をこれまでの2週間から10日程度に縮める検討をしていることを明らかにしました。  一方、中国本土の感染者は2万人を超えています。生後1カ月の赤ちゃんの感染も確認され、死者は425人に上りました。新型コロナウイルスの感染の拡大を防ぐために中国の多くのマンションでは海外もしくは武漢などの他の都市から戻ってきた場合は連絡をするよう促しています。深セン市の集合住宅では武漢がある湖北省出身者の部屋の水道を止める事態に。健康状態のチェックなどが済んだことを自治体が認めた場合のみ供給が再開できると一方的に通知しています。さらに、河北省では複数の自治体が申告していない隠れ武漢人を見つけて通報した人に報酬を出していました。  また、北京では感染拡大でランチ事情が変わってきています。バイクで現れた男性は配達の容器を開けるまで近付かないよう指示します。感染を恐れ、宅配弁当も接触しない形で行われていました。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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