Shanghai Disneyland has announced that they are slowly beginning to resume regular operations in the midst of the deadly novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
On March 3, PEOPLE reported that Disney’s Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo parks had shut down over growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, noting that Tokyo Disneyland’s shutdown would last through March 16, while Hong Kong and Shanghai would be closed indefinitely.
But on Wednesday, Shanghai Disneyland announced in a statement to their website that they began to “partially resume operations on March 9, 2020,” slowly rolling out “a limited number of shopping, dining, and recreational experiences” across the park, including Disneytown (a shopping and dining area), Wishing Star Park (a public park owned by the resort) and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. The actual theme park itself is not yet reopening.
According to the statement, the park will only let in a limited number of guests, and hours of operation will be reduced. In order to limit the spread of the virus, a series of precautions will be taken before guests are allowed to enter the park. For example, “every guest entering Shanghai Disney Resort will be required to undergo temperature screening procedures upon their arrival, will need to present their Health QR Code when entering dining venues, and will be required to wear a mask during their entire visit,” the statement reads.
Guests will also be asked to “maintain respectful social distances” from employees and each other at all times.
Over the past few weeks, photos that have surfaced of Disney’s Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo parks show the usually bustling hotspots looking like ghost towns, as gates are closed and temporary barricades installed.
Disney’s other international destination, Disneyland Paris, remains open with extra precautions and sanitation efforts in place, a representative confirms to PEOPLE. Other significant sites in the city have closed, including the landmark Louvre Museum. The French government currently has a ban on public indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people, put in place to try and contain the virus.
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In the U.S., Disney parks, Universal Studios and several other major attractions have implemented stringent sanitation precautionary procedures and are working closely with government health organizations, but remain open, representatives confirmed to PEOPLE.
Universal Studios Japan in Osaka announced it would close on February 28 through March 15. The Universal park in Singapore remains open.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the best prevention methods against COVID-19 are basic forms of hygiene — careful handwashing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.
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