Shanghai Disneyland Announces Reopening After Covid Lockdown Trapped 30,000 Guests Inside Park

Shanghai Disney Resort

Two days after more than 30,000 visitors were locked inside Shanghai Disneyland for hours on Sunday by Chinese government officials and forced to test negative for Covid-19 before they were allowed to leave, the park announced today that “Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown will resume operations on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, with Shanghai Disneyland operating from 10:00 to 19:00, and Disneytown operating from 10:00 to 21:00.”

A statement from the park said that all “cast members and third-party employees have completed two Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) tests within 48 hours and that all those results came back negative. In addition, those workers will be “strictly following CDC self-health monitoring guidelines.” The park itself, according to Shanghai Disneyland officials, has also been swept for the virus with all samples coming out negative.

The Shanghai park was closed Sunday night, according to AP, and all 33,863 people at the park tested because one woman who visited Shanghai Disneyland on Saturday either later turned up positive for Covid or came into contact with someone who had it, according to conflicting reports. Either way, Disney’s Shanghai property remained closed on Monday and Tuesday and infection control measures were implemented “according to directives on pandemic prevention and control” in China.

The Disneyland lockdown is the latest in a string of increasingly strict measures taken by the government. The policies include requiring visitors to quarantine for three weeks upon arrival, requiring those in a hospital to stay another two weeks after recovery and holding ships at port until all crew are tested, according to the the Wall Street Journal.

Deadline reported Sunday that 14 of the country’s provinces are currently affected and the measures are impacting other areas in entertainment, such as exhibition. The highly-anticipated Bond outing No Time to Die opened slightly lower than projections this past weekend amid cinema closures in Beijing.

China had three cities harboring a total of six million people under lockdown last week, reported AFP.

The Shanghai Disney lockdown and other so-called “zero Covid” measures come as China, a country of over a billion people, recorded just 48 cases on Saturday, up from 43 the Monday before.

One irony here is that stateside theme parks have argued that they are among the safest public venues due to their anti-infection protocols and experience handling crowds. A major refrain in their argument to reopen earlier this year was that not a single case could be traced back to a documented transmission at a theme park.

Disneyland Shanghai was the of first of the company’s parks to close in 2020 when the virus hit.

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