Wuhan swimmers don 'facekinis' to avoid coronavirus as the city's first water park reopens

Residents of Wuhan have started to use wacky head coverings known as ‘facekinis’ to protect them against COVID-19 while swimming.

Footage shows a group of swimmers wearing the protective gear, which covers all of their head apart from a cut around the eyes to allow them to see.

As if the headwear itself was not bizarre enough, some tourists picked the ones that featured images of animal faces as they enjoyed their day out at a water park.

A family is pictured donning the face-coverings at the water park yesterday

A tourist is seen wearing a 'facekini' as he enters the Maya Beach Water Park

Dozens of swimmers have dubbed the infamous Chinese fashion statement ‘facekinis’ to protect themselves from the coronavirus at a water park in Wuhan of central China

Hundreds of swimmers rushed to the 40-acre outdoor amusement site yesterday as the summer heatwave hits the Chinese central city

A Chinese man is pictured donning the bizarre face-coverings in Wuhan Thursday

Footage from Thursday shows a group of tourists donning the bizarre coverings featuring animal faces, leaving slits for just the eyes, nose and mouth at the facility

The swimmers were spotted on Thursday at Wuhan’s Maya Beach Water Park, which is the first of its kind to reopen in the city following the coronavirus outbreak.  

Hundreds of swimmers rushed to the 40-acre outdoor amusement site on the day as the summer heatwave hits the Chinese central city, reported the local media.

Some of them are seen donning the unconventional gear over fears of catching the disease while enjoying themselves at the water park.

One visitor, Mr He, told Pear Video: ‘Wuhan has just lifted the lockdown not that long ago. [I’m] still worried that there are some cases.

‘At the park, you would be very close to people, so I’m wearing this head-covering to protect [myself] from contaminated saliva circulating in the air,’ the tourist added.

The eccentric head covering was first invented in Chinese eastern port city Qingdao in 2004 to help prevent female swimmers from getting tanned in the sun.

The functional fashion item 'facekini' was first invented in Chinese eastern port city Qingdao in 2004, to help Chinese women protect their delicate porcelain skin from the sun's rays. The file picture taken on August 29, 2019 shows women cladding in facekinis in Qingdao, Shandong

The functional fashion item ‘facekini’ was first invented in Chinese eastern port city Qingdao in 2004, to help Chinese women protect their delicate porcelain skin from the sun’s rays. The file picture taken on August 29, 2019 shows women cladding in facekinis in Qingdao, Shandong

The full-face covering also helps protect people from jellyfish stings and algae, leading to its immense popularity among Chinese swimmers. The file picture taken on August 29, 2019 shows women wearing facekinis in Qingdao, Shandong province of eastern China

The full-face covering also helps protect people from jellyfish stings and algae, leading to its immense popularity among Chinese swimmers. The file picture taken on August 29, 2019 shows women wearing facekinis in Qingdao, Shandong province of eastern China

Developed by former accountant Zhang Shifan, the facekinis have proven so popular it can sell more than 30,000 pieces every year, according to reports. The file picture taken on June 3, 2015, shows two women wearing the facekinis as they lie on a beach in Qingdao, Shandong

Developed by former accountant Zhang Shifan, the facekinis have proven so popular it can sell more than 30,000 pieces every year, according to reports. The file picture taken on June 3, 2015, shows two women wearing the facekinis as they lie on a beach in Qingdao, Shandong

It is said the full-face covering also helps protect people from jellyfish stings and algae, leading to its popularity among swimmers.

Developed by former accountant Zhang Shifan, the facekinis have proven so popular it can sell more than 30,000 pieces every year, according to reports.

And the perceived fashion piece has even begun moving outside China’s borders, with the item appearing in photoshoots alongside swimsuits from Gucci and Armani.

The Maya Beach Water Park has put a cap – 30 per cent of its maximum capacity – on the number of daily visitors, according to Chinese media.

The site also requires tourists to have their body temperatures taken and show their health codes to prove they are virus-free before entering.

The picture shows people enjoying themselves at the water park in Wuhan on Thursday

Tourists are asked to have their temperatures taken and show their health codes before entering

The Maya Beach Water Park has put a cap – 30 per cent of its maximum capacity – on the number of daily visitors. Pictures above show tourists  rush to the 40-acre outdoor amusement site yesterday as the summer heatwave hits the Chinese central city in Hubei province

The Maya Beach Water Park has put a cap – 30 per cent of its maximum capacity - on the number of visitors. The file picture released by the park shows people playing in the water

The Maya Beach Water Park has put a cap – 30 per cent of its maximum capacity – on the number of visitors. The file picture released by the park shows people playing in the water

The park’s reopening comes as China appears to have largely contained the coronavirus outbreak despite a new infection cluster broke out in the capital city about two weeks ago.

The fresh COVID-19 outbreak linked to a sprawling seafood market in Beijing has infected 280 people after reporting 11 new cases today.

Nationwide, the country has recorded a total of 85,148 confirmed infections, of which 493 are active. The death toll remains at 4,634.

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