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Green channels slow down

TOO many visitors are abusing quick-entry channels for disadvantaged groups, causing some pavilions to shut them down or require stricter qualifications.

Pavilion employees said that some people who are capable of walking are getting wheelchairs in order to avoid hours of queuing to enter a pavilion. In other cases, too many family members are accompanying a single wheelchair to take advantage of the fast access.

A press officer of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion told Shanghai Daily they usually see some people entering the pavilion on wheelchairs. These same people often stand up once inside and leave the pavilion on foot.

A sign saying "No easy access" can be seen in front of the Sweden Pavilion, one of the most popular pavilions thus far.

The pavilion closed its green channel on Monday after it found an average of 4,000 people entering the pavilion through green channels every day, accounting for 20 percent of daily visitors.

"Too many people used the green channel by force," said a Sweden Pavilion employee.

He said nine healthy people forced their way through the green channel after claiming they had to accompany a senior in a wheelchair.

The pavilion had stipulated that at most two family members could accompany someone in a wheelchair.

Victoria Bei, the pavilion's spokesperson, said the pavilion currently had no plan to re-open its green channel.

The Taipei Pavilion, the most popular Urban Best Practices Area pavilion, set stricter rules for the quick access nearly a week ago. Seniors now have to show their identity cards to prove they are over 70 and disabled visitors need to show their certificates.

Shanghai Daily has seen quarrels between pavilion workers and those intending to force their way through fast-access channels. Visitors normally need to wait for about one hour to enter Taipei Pavilion.

Germany Pavilion has asked those who use the green channel to reserve in advance. Pavilion employees now hand out about 100 reservation tickets, which are usually gone quickly.

Thailand Pavilion also has shut down green channels.

"My mother is over 80 years old, and it's not easy for her to visit the Expo site," a female Shanghai visitor surnamed Wang told pavilion workers as she tried to get her mother in a wheelchair into the pavilion. She failed.

Hong Hao, director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, has said that new rules will be issued for fast-access channels.


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