Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea will be temporarily closed down from Saturday till March 15 as the coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate in Japan. Also, Osaka-based theme park Universal Studios will be closed down during the same time. The announcements were made by the respective park operators.
The decision to close down the theme parks follows calls from the Japanese government to postpone all major gatherings across the country until at least two weeks in a bid to contain the deadly coronavirus. The parks are likely to open on March 16, provided the virus outbreak comes under control.
Japan takes preventive measure
Oriental Land Co, the operator of Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea, and USJ LLC, which operates Universal Studios Japan, said on Friday that the decision to keep the parks closed till March comes following a government directive to cut down or postpone all major events over the next two weeks to avoid the chances of spreading of coronavirus infection. In Japan, schools too have been closed down on coronavirus fears.
More than 900 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Japan, with eight deaths. Disneyland Tokyo said that it will also refund visitors for entry fees and hotel bookings. Oriental Land Co is also coming up with provisions of extension on the validity date. On Thursday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had directed all schools to close down until the new term which begins in April.
The theme parks are now likely to open on March 16. "We plan to reopen on March 16, but we will make an announcement after keeping close contact with relevant institutions," Oriental Land announced on its website. The Japanese government said that coming two weeks will be crucial in containing in deadly virus.
Both Japan and Disney struggle
The Japanese government is on high alert as confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to escalate. Much like in China, a number of businesses have been temporarily shut down. Disney's troubles don't seem to be ending. The company's Shanghai and Hong Kong theme parks remain closed for more than a month now, with no immediate signs of opening.
The closing down of the Tokyo parks will only add to the woes. Disney had earlier said that the temporary closure of the parks is going to significantly impact its second-quarter results. Disney's theme parks haven't closed for a single day since March and April 2011, when a nuclear disaster at Fukushima Prefecture, the worst since Chernobyl in 1986, rocked the nation.