Hong Kong Disneyland Temporarily Shuts Down After a Parkgoer Tests Positive for COVID-19

Mandatory COVID-19 testing for staffers and guests is underway.

The happiest place in Hong Kong has shut down for a day after someone who visited the park this weekend was found to have COVID-19.

Hong Kong Disneyland said it would close to the public on Nov. 17 to allow for government-mandated COVID testing of staff members. It also is requiring anyone who visited the park between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time on Nov. 14 to take a COVID-19 test.

Local regulations require those tests be taken by Nov. 18, Hong Kong Disneyland said in a notice posted to its website. It described the closure as a move taken out of "an abundance of caution."

Disney parks around the world have been taking differing approaches to operating during the ongoing pandemic as local governments adopt a patchwork of provisions meant to keep people as safe as possible.

In Shanghai, a single COVID-19 case quickly shut the park down on Halloween. Everyone inside the park at the time had to take a COVID-19 test to leave. "The extreme measure saw tens of thousands of visitors and staff forced to undergo coronavirus testing before they were allowed to leave the park, as police blocked the exits and secured the grounds," CNN reported.

Hong Kong has been tightening its coronavirus restrictions despite barely reporting any new coronavirus cases locally. "Hong Kong is following Beijing's lead in retaining strict travel curbs, in contrast to a global trend of opening up and living with the coronavirus," Reuters said.

General view of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort during its reopening.
Geovien So/Getty Images

Hong Kong Disneyland is expected to reopen on Nov. 18.

To visit Hong Kong Disneyland, visitors must have their temperature checked, wear a face mask, and use an app meant to help facilitate contact tracing.

Everyone visiting the park is required to provide their name and telephone number and make reservations ahead of their planned visit.

Inside the park, close-up photos with characters are not allowed as a more contactless Disney experience is emerging.

"We all have an important role to play in promoting health and safety. As we do our part, we also ask our guests to do theirs, by wearing face masks and respecting social distancing and our other guidelines," Hong Kong Disneyland said in its coronavirus health and safety guidance.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a travel writer who loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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