The Shanghai Disney Resort has announced that it will close on Monday until further notice, citing China’s recent wave of Covid-19 infections.
The resort, which includes Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and Wishing Star Park, said on its website that it would consult local authorities and notify guests as soon as it had a confirmed date to resume operations.
China reported 1,656 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Saturday, health authorities said, compared with about 70 cases at the beginning of the month. Meanwhile, mainland China reported its first deaths from Covid-19 in more than a year on Saturday as the country battles a surge of Omicron infections.
Two patients died of Covid-19 in the northeastern province of Jilin, which has been hard hit by the Omicron wave, China’s National Health Commission said. The deaths, both of which occurred March 18, are the nation’s first recorded fatalities since Jan. 26, 2021.
Earlier in the week, Chinese health authorities barred Jilin’s 24 million residents from leaving the province, the first time such restrictions have been imposed on an entire province since Hubei province, home to the city of Wuhan, was locked down at the start of the pandemic.
China—the world’s most populous country—has reported fewer than 5,000 deaths from the coronavirus since the pandemic began in 2020. It has kept infections and death counts low through costly and laborious measures including tight border controls, targeted lockdowns, mass testing and digital surveillance.
Walt Disney Co.
, which is a minority owner in the Chinese resort, said that its theme parks and resorts generated record income in its fiscal first quarter, signaling that the worst of the damage the company suffered from the coronavirus pandemic may be behind it.
Shanghai Disneyland, which first opened in 2016, was the first Disney park to close as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout China in early 2020. Disney later closed all of its parks, costing the company billions of dollars in revenue. Shanghai Disneyland reopened in May 2020.
In late October, Shanghai Disneyland locked more than 30,000 visitors inside its theme park and forced them to take Covid-19 tests after one customer came back positive for the virus—an example of the zero tolerance policy imposed by the Chinese government.
China is attempting to move on from its so-called Covid-Zero lockdown measures in favor of a more precise approach to containing the virus that is less damaging to its economy. The updated measures, which include more efficient testing and shorter and more targeted quarantines, are being put to the test by the latest Omicron wave.
—Elaine Yu, Natasha Khan, Erich Schwartzel and Sha Hua contributed to this article.
Write to Ginger Adams Otis at [email protected]
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