As coronavirus numbers continue to decline in Hong Kong, word has started to circulate the reopening of Hong Kong Disneyland could come by the end of the month. Though Hong Kong officials have yet to confirm the news, Variety reports both of Hong Kong's government-owned amusement parks — Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park — may be allowed to reopen on September 18th.
The park first closed down in January at the onset of the global pandemic and remained closed through the middle part of June. When it reopened June 18th, it only stayed open for a matter of weeks before it was forced to temporarily shutter once more on July 15th as a third coronavirus outbreak impacted the city.
Upon its second closure, the government issued a statement saying most public places — theme parks, concert halls, bars, and the like — would remain closed until case numbers took a substantial nose dive. Over the past week, Hong Kong has averaged roughly 12 new cases per day, leading to 4,896 total cases in the territory since the pandemic began. 99 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 through Tuesday.
"Unless the epidemic situation takes a sudden downturn, the Government expects to issue new directions in the next phase to re-open catering and scheduled premises (including theme parks, exhibition venues, swimming pools, bathhouses, party rooms, bars and pubs, karaoke establishments, clubs or nightclubs, etc.) which we have not been able to re-open due to the higher infection risk," the government's initial statement said.
Disney also has yet to comment on a potential reopening, helping fuel the speculation even further. During her initial comments in June, Stephanie Young — Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland — unveiled the steps the company had taken to ensure the safety of guests and employees alike.
"At Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, it is my privilege to work with an incredible team of cast members to help share the magic with our guests. Over the past few months, we've been moved by your understanding and patience as we navigated an unprecedented closure. During this time, we took measured steps to maintain guest offerings at our hotels, with adjusted levels of service, and in May we reopened additional dining experiences," the statement read. "Today, as our surrounding community takes steps towards recovery, I'm thrilled to announce that Hong Kong Disneyland will also reopen to the public on June 18."
She added, "During this initial reopening phase, the park will open with limited attendance. The park will implement social distancing requirements in queues, restaurants, attraction vehicles and at other facilities throughout the park, and will increase the frequency of sanitization and disinfection in high-guest contact areas."