Tokyo Disneyland Closes Due to Coronavirus Just One Day After Japan Shut Down All Schools
In what was the last of Disney's theme parks in Asia to remain open amid the coronavirus outbreak, Tokyo Disneyland announced that it will close starting this weekend.
"As a precautionary measure in line with prevention efforts taking place across Japan and in response to the recommendations of appropriate authorities, we are temporarily closing Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea out of consideration for the health and safety of our guests and cast members from February 29 to March 15," the park's website read. "We remain in close contact with related government agencies about the situation."
The closure affects both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Those who have already purchased admission for this time period will be contacted with more information about refund policies.
Shanghai Disney has been closed since January 25 when coronavirus began spreading in China and Hong Kong Disneyland Park closed one day later. Both will remain closed until further notice.
On a global level, Disney Parks are taking extreme precautions against the spread of the virus. According to USA Today, employees in Florida who recently traveled to Italy were told to stay home for two weeks to avoid bringing the virus into the park. Though they assured there are "no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus," and that the rule was "out of an abundance of caution."
Universal Studios Japan, based in Osaka, will also close for the same time period, according to a notice from the park.
Tokyo Disneyland's decision comes a day after Japan announced that schools will remain closed until the start of the new academic year in April, according to The Associated Press.
“The coming week or two is an extremely important time,” Abe said. “This is to prioritize the health and safety of the children and take precautions to avoid the risk of possible large-scale infections.”
Additionally, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked organizers of big events to consider canceling or downsizing over the next couple of weeks as the country enters a critical time in its management of the coronavirus outbreak, Japan Times reported..
National museums in Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto and Fukuoka will be closed through March 15. Nippon Professional Baseball will be played without an audience. And the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, scheduled to take place in Osaka from March 8 through 22, is unlikely to proceed as planned.
As of Friday, there are 226 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Japan, with five deaths. The country is also responding to 705 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked at a Japanese port.
The Center for Disease Control has issued a Level 2 alert for travel to Japan, warning travelers to practice enhanced precautions and often wash their hands to avoid contact with germs. For more information on travel during the coronavirus outbreak, check out Travel + Leisure’s guide on what to know.