Not only does Shanghai Disneyland's partial reopening signify that China has turned a corner in its virus battle, it also sends a glimmer of hope for Asia's embattled travel industry that things could be turning for the better soon.
Walt Disney Co’s Shanghai Disneyland said on Monday it will resume a limited number of resort operations as the first step of a phased reopening, although the main theme park will remain shut amid worries about the coronavirus outbreak.
Some shopping, dining, and recreational activities will reopen in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel with limited capacity and reduced hours of operation. All guests will be required to have their temperature taken on arrival and to wear a mask for the duration of their visit.
“Guests will also be reminded to maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants,” Shanghai Disneyland said in a statement on its website.
Shanghai Disneyland was closed on Jan. 25 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland were shut in subsequent days.
Disney warned last month that the moves could shave $135 million off operating income at Shanghai, and $40 million at Hong Kong, if they extend for two months.
The virus spread in China has slowed in recent days, with only 40 new confirmed cases recorded on Sunday. The number of new infections overseas now exceeds the tally of new cases in China.
The total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China reached 80,735 at the end of Sunday, with the death toll standing at 3,119.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Jane Wardell)
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Photo credit: Shanghai Disneyland, which was closed on Jan 25 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, resumes some resort operations as coronavirus infections slow. Matt Stroshane / Shanghai Disney Resort