Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing to help prevent the spread of a new coronavirus outbreak.
The flu-like virus first originated in Wuhan, China, at the start of the month and has so-far killed 26 people and infected more than 830. Park operators at Walt Disney Co’s Shanghai Disney Resort have now said the area will be closed off from Saturday, despite the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, which starts Friday.
A notice on their website reads: ‘In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown. ‘We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon confirmation.’
Guests who have already purchased tickets or booked hotels for their trip will be able to apply for refunds online, the site added. Most of the 26 people who have died from the coronavirus have been in Hubei, the city’s province in China.
Two people have died outside of that area – one man close to Beijing and the other in Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province which borders Russia. It is thought around 830 people have been infected with the disease across China as a whole, while cases have also been found in Japan, Thailand, South Korea and the US.
Global authorities are warning that there is likely to be an increase in cases discovered outside of China in the coming days. On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that it was ‘too early’ to declare an international public health emergency over the outbreak ‘given its restrictive and binary nature’. Speaking at a press conference, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said: ‘Make no mistake, this is though an emergency in China. ‘But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one.’