LUNAR NEW YEAR
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Lunar New Year

Strict crowd limits set for Beijing Lunar New Year celebrations in wake of Shanghai crush

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 February, 2015, 11:55am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 January, 2016, 4:25pm

Beijing authorities have set precise mathematical limits on allowable crowd densities for events during the Lunar New Year holiday after the government ordered increased safety precautions across the country in the wake of the deadly New Year's Eve stampede in Shanghai.

For street events in the capital, the maximum density is two square metres per person, The Beijing News reported.

Garden parties can be a little more intimate - with just one square metre per person - and indoor events even more so, at 0.7 square metres per person.

The city's tourism commission, Zhao Guangchao, said that events could be cancelled if the limits were exceeded.

Organisers of an annual temple fair in Hehuachi Park, in northwestern Beijing, have cancelled the event for the first time in its 15-year history, according to the news website Caixin.com.

Two of the most popular fairs, one in Ditan Park and another in Longtan Park, will be smaller than usual. Tiantan Park will stop selling tickets for its temple fair when crowds reach 90,000 people, Caixin said.

Thirty-six people were killed and more than 40 injured in Shanghai on New Year's Eve as crowds crammed the riverfront to watch a light display.

Four government officials were sacked amid criticism of the lack of marshalling and the emergency services' response to the disaster.

Officials around the country are also cancelling or scaling back plans for public events over the Lunar New Year holiday period.

Shanghai said last month it was cancelling plans for five events over the holiday, including lantern shows in Guyi Garden and in Yu Garden.

A lantern show in Nanjing that opened to the public on February 11 has been downsized, with the number of stalls cut from 120 to 80.

The number of stalls at a flower market on West Lake Road in Guangzhou will be reduced from 233 to 182.