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Hong Kong Disneyland reopens as anti-virus measures loosen


Kyodo News

Hong Kong, China  /  Fri, February 19, 2021  /  04:40 pm
Hong Kong Disneyland reopens as anti-virus measures loosen

Visitors enjoy the opening show of the Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Hong Kong, China November 20, 2020. (REUTERS/epost-robot)

Hong Kong Disneyland reopened Friday with the territory's government lifting part of the social distancing measures as the coronavirus pandemic eases.

It is the third reopening for the popular theme park following previous closures in January, July and December last year lasting a total of about nine months due to the pandemic. It last closed on Dec. 2.

Local media Cable TV reported that about 100 people lined up at the gates before it opened, among them a teenager who said he was so excited he could not sleep the previous night.

"Every time Disneyland reopens is to be cherished," Yim said, donning an Olaf facemask, a snowman character in the "Frozen" animated film. "Or you would lose the chance to play when it closes."

Only guests with reservations are admitted, the park said. It closes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The closures came after the park saw a declining number of visitors as Hong Kong was embroiled in months-long anti-government protests. Full-year attendance through September 2019 dropped 4 percent from a year earlier to 6.5 million visitors, according to company figures.

Social distancing measures were relaxed in Hong Kong starting Thursday as new infections dwindled in recent weeks to low double-digit numbers.

Most public venues are allowed to open while being limited to half capacity and having to observe preventive measures, including temperature checks and facemasks.

Under the new rules, visitors to the theme park, restaurants and most public venues are required to leave visiting records for contact tracing should an outbreak happen. Employees have to get tested for COVID-19 every fortnight.

The government has authorized the emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine made by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Mass inoculation is scheduled to start next week.

Eight infection cases were reported Thursday, taking the total to 10,820, with 197 deaths, government figures show.