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Hours after announcing the temporary closure of Disneyland Resort in California, The Walt Disney Company has just released a statement pronouncing that Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland Paris and Disney Cruise Line will all be closing down operations as a precaution against further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
In its statement, issued this evening, Disney said: "In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month. Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month."
The announcement also disclosed that "the Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period." As for the venues that typically complement park operations: "The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, will remain open."
Although there have been no cases or suspicions of a coronavirus infection at the various parks or aboard its cruises, Disney is acting preemptively in the public's best interest, considering how easily transmissible the COVID-19 virus can be when people are gathered in such close proximity and that an infected person may not display signs of illness for up to fourteen days while the coronavirus in its incubation period.
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently called for the cancellation or delay of gatherings of more than 250 people in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus, which perhaps played a part in Disney's decision earlier today to shutter Disneyland Resort and its hotels, also through the end of March 2020.
Disney's latest statement indicates that it will continue to work closely with health experts and officials to monitor the COVID-19 situation and determine appropriate action as circumstances unfold, both nationally and globally.
Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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