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Walt Disney closes all theme parks in Asia on coronavirus concerns

Walt Disney closes all theme parks in Asia on coronavirus concerns
Visitors are seen outside Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, east of Tokyo, Japan, on Feb 28, 2020.
PHOTO: Reuters

TOKYO - Tokyo Disneyland will be closed from Saturday (Feb 29) to March 15 due to concerns about coronavirus infections spreading in Japan, its operator said on Friday, leaving all of Walt Disney Co's theme parks in Asia temporarily shut.

Both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will be closed after a government recommendation that big gatherings and events be curtailed for two weeks, park operator Oriental Land said.

"We plan to reopen on March 16, but we will make an announcement after keeping close contact with relevant institutions," Oriental Land said on its website, adding that it would inform ticket holders of refund policies.

Osaka-based theme park Universal Studios Japan also said it was closing during the same period.

The announcements come a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for all schools to be closed down until the new academic year starts in early April.

Oriental Land shares closed up 0.66 per cent on Friday, with investors having already priced in the closures after a slide of over 17 per cent since the start of the year.

Disney's Shanghai and Hong Kong theme parks remain closed for more than a month, and the company earlier this month warned of a negative impact on its second quarter results.

It said on an earnings call on Feb 5 that closure of the Shanghai park could impact operating profit by about US$135 million (S$190 million) if closed for two months.

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