Beijing centre closed for rehearsal

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 September, 1999, 12:00am

The capital will come to a standstill today for a National Day celebration rehearsal, a city notice said.

Main roads would be shut to all traffic, including bicycles, for what is expected to be the final rehearsal for the October 1 parade.

Roads around Tiananmen Square, including Chang'an Avenue, would close from 7.50am, while streets in key business areas in the Chaoyang district would shut later, said the special public security notice posted in newspapers.

Parts of the second, third and fourth ring roads would also be closed to traffic at different times.

Rehearsals have shut many of Beijing's main roads during the night for numerous pre-dawn practices, but today is the first time the practice will take place during daylight hours.

Tourist sites affected include the Zhongshan Park, the Working People's Cultural Palace and the Forbidden City, which will be shut all day. The Great Hall of the People, the Museum of History and Mao Zedong's Memorial will close for part of the day.

Some offices, such as the management for Oriental Plaza, will close for the day, while others are allowing workers to go home early.

Some locals have expressed exasperation at the measures, which have had little advance warning.

Workers are to get another three public holidays a year as part of celebrations marking the anniversary.

Xinhua said the public holiday calendar had been changed for the first time since 1949 to take the total number of official days off to 10.

'People will have three days off from May 1, Labour Day, when they used to have one, and one more day off from October 1,' it said.



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