Shut-down goes into effect almost immediately, follows previous request for people with cold-like symptoms to refrain from visiting the parks.

Yesterday, the organizers of Anime Japan, Japan’s biggest anime industry convention, said that they were cancelling this year’s event due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum is currently closed for the same reason. Now comes some unfortunate news for lovers of Western animation.

On February 21, Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea began requesting that potential guests who were experiencing cold-like symptoms refrain from visiting the parks. Attendees were also asked to diligently wash their hands and use the hand sanitizer gel provided in park bathrooms, and to inform an employee promptly if they began to feel sick while inside the park. Park employees have also been wearing surgical masks while at work since January 28.

However, in light of the continuing coronavirus outbreak, the parks’ management have no decided to take more dramatic measures, and have announced that both Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea will be shut down entirely for a period of approximately two weeks. The announcement was made on the morning of February 28, and the parks will be closed from the very next day, February 29. The closures are tentatively scheduled to last through March 16.

The Japanese government has stated that the next two weeks will be a critical period for containing the spread of the virus within the country, and have asked various entertainment entities to suspend or postpone events and group activities until at least late March. Many Japanese companies (including SoraNews24) have also implemented temporary telecommuting policies, enabling an increased number of employees to work from home and avoid not only having to spend their days inside crowded offices, but also packed commuter trains.

With Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea set to raise ticket prices on April 1, it’s likely that many fans were hoping to visit the parks in March, and it’s unfortunate that those plans will be upset, but the decision to temporarily close the parks is certainly understandable. And even if that means a lot of kids won’t be going to Disneyland, at least they might not have to go to school either.

Sources: Tokyo Disney Resort (1, 2, 3) via Twitter/@tbs_news via Otakomu
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