Disney is closing down its theme parks in Japan as the virus escalates.
The parks’ operator, Oriental Land, announced on Friday that Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will shut down starting Saturday and remain closed through March 15. The park is scheduled to reopen March 16. This means that there will be roughly two weeks that the Disney parks will not be in operation.
The request to close the parks came from the Japanese government to cancel or postpone big gatherings and events over the next few weeks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. So far, eight people have died from the virus, and more than 900 remain ill. The vast majority of the sicknesses have been connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has become a floating quarantine zone off of Yokohama.
Worldwide, there have been at least 2,800 deaths, mostly in mainland China. However, there are more than 83,000 global cases of the virus with infections confirmed on every continent minus Antarctica.
The Tokyo Disney resort will refund guests for admission fees and hotel bookings.
Disney has taken a hard hit since the coronavirus spread. So far, the company has closed its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong over the last month, just before the Lunar New Year holiday. These continual closures will hurt Disney’s results for the fiscal year as a whole.
Just this week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the closing of all elementary, junior high and high schools until April amid the coronavirus outbreak.