Coronavirus: Disney parks will remain closed until further notice

James Crump
Disneyworld Magic Kingdom at night: (Orlando Sentinel)

Disney announced it is extending the closure of Disneyland and Disneyworld until further notice, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The parks were initially scheduled to reopen on 1 April, but the company has decided to extend the closure, amid rising positive Covid-19 cases in the US.

“While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains The Walt Disney Company’s top priority,” the company said in a statement.

“As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice.”

With uncertainty for staff, the company revealed that they would extend “paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.”

Disney first made the decision to close some of their parks and resorts on 14 March but made it clear that there had not been any reported cases at Disneyland Resorts.

“After carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California‘s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” the company said in a statement.

California governor Gavin Newsom announced that gatherings of 250 or more would be banned in his state from March 14, effectively closing Disneyland.

Mr Newsom stressed that the closures were necessary, saying: “Changing our actions for a short period of time will save the life of one or more people you know.”

“That’s the choice before us. Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects -- saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now,” he added.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, upwards of 101,657 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 1,581.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended a two-week ban on gatherings of more than 50 people as part of the battle to contain the spread of the contagion.

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