Tokyo’s Disney Parks Close on Rising Concerns Over Outbreak

(Bloomberg) -- Tokyo Disney Resort will close for two weeks starting Saturday as a precaution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, operator Oriental Land Co. said.

Shares in Oriental Land fell as much as 4.6% after the company said on Friday that Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea will not accept visitors from Feb. 29 to March 15. Oriental Land is licensed by Walt Disney Co. to operate the entertainment complex.

The temporary closing comes just a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for all schools in Japan to close from Monday until the end of spring holidays in early April, underscoring how seriously the country is taking the increasing possibility of a major outbreak. With Disney parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai already closed, this means all of the entertainment company’s resorts in Asia have shut down for the time being due to the spread of the virus.

The measure is expected to impact Oriental Land’s earnings, a spokeswoman for the company said, adding that more details will be shared when results are announced. The operator usually reports quarterly figures in late April.

Oriental Land, which made the decision based on the government’s request to avoid large-scale cultural and sporting events, said it is planning to open on March 16, although that date is subject to change. Shares in the theme park operator gave up gains and fell after the market’s midday pause, when the announcement was made. The stock was down 18% this year through Thursday on concerns that the coronavirus outbreak would cut the flow of tourists to Japan.

The last time the Tokyo Disney Report closed for an extended period was in March 2011, following the earthquake and tsunami that struck the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu. At the time, Tokyo Disneyland shut down for 34 days, while Tokyo DisneySea was shuttered for 47 days, according to the spokeswoman.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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