Hong Kong Disneyland closes for fourth time due to Covid

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com): The Hong Kong Disneyland theme park is to close from Wednesday (Jan 5) evening, due to the city's anti-coronavirus measures. The closure is the fourth time that the pandemic has brought park operations to a halt.

The park appeared to hope that the measure would be temporary. It pointed to a closure lasting two weeks, until Jan 20, 2022.

"As required by the government and in line with preventive efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close from Jan 7 to 20. Guests who planned to visit the Park on above dates are advised to visit on another day. HKDL has been in close contact with the relevant government departments and will continue to implement health and safety measures with reference to their guidelines to promote health and safety of our guests and cast members," management said in a statement.

Under current operations, the park closes every Tuesday and Thursday for cleaning measures, meaning that the official closure will actually take effect a day earlier.

Hong Kong has been operating a zero-Covid policy which involves strict border controls and long quarantine period for almost all inbound travellers and until this month had gone for two months without a confirmed local case.

In recent days, however, local transmission has been discovered and the omicron variant detected. On Tuesday, Hong Kong health authorities announced 13 new confirmed cased and a further 26 asymptomatic infections. These included 12 of the Omicron strain.

On Wednesday it announced 34 imported cases, three cases epidemiologically linked with a imported case, and one local case.

In response, the government said Wednesday said that it is taking drastic measures that will close much of daily life, but fall short of a full lock down.

These include restaurant dining restrictions and the closure of 15 types of venues such as bars, gyms, entertainment venues, mahjong parlors and swimming pools. There will be a ban on major events and non-essential gatherings for 14 days.

Flights into the city from eight countries will be banned for 14 days from Saturday Jan 8, 2022. They include Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UK and the US.

"We are in a race against time to stop the Omicron variant from spreading in the community," said the city's chief executive Carrie Lam.

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