Published on : Thursday, December 3, 2020
Hong Kong Disneyland shut its doors for a third time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after the Hong Kong announced new set of restrictions across the region in the wake of a new wave of coronavirus infections. The latest orders are the third in Hong Kong since the pandemic emerged earlier this year. As the government put restrictions on public gatherings, Disney’s struggling parks division continued to furlough thousands of workers amid the new closure.
The theme park mentioned in a press statement that as required by the government and in line with preventive efforts taking place across Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close beginning December 2. It was also informed that authorities are in close contact with health authorities and the government about the situation and will announce a reopening date once it is advised.
Hong Kong’s new restrictions include the shuttering of entertainment and leisure venues like karaoke lounges and game centers, while restaurants, gyms and beauty salons can remain open under stricter limitations. Theme parks have been among the very hardest hit entertainment segment in the pandemic era along with movie theatres and live events. Disney’s Parks and Resorts has traditionally made up about a third of the company’s revenue, with the division witnessing sales fall 61% in the fourth-quarter of 2020 as compared to the previous year.
On the other hand, Disneyland Paris has also decided to remain shut for Christmas as France hit the second wave of coronavirus infections. Initially, the park planned to open for the festive season but the opening has been pushed back at least until February 12, 2021. Similarly, Disneyland in California is unlikely to fully reopen before 2021 under the state’s current guidelines. The latest reopening guidelines from Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration have left California theme parks closed for the “foreseeable future.” The theme park has also decided to furlough more employees under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which the company filed for around November.
However, Walt Disney World continues to remain open despite the rising numbers of COVID cases in the state. Governor Ron DeSantis said in a recent press conference that he remains opposed to shutdown measures. Disney CEO Bob Chapek also mentioned during the company’s Q4 earnings call that demand for the company’s theme parks has been going up, with visitors booking theme park visits even despite the pandemic.