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Tokyo Disney parks closing for two weeks on virus fears

28 February 2020, MVT 18:41
(FILES) This file photo taken on January 13, 2020 shows Disney character Minnie Mouse (L) greeting 20-year-old women and men during their 'Coming-of-Age Day' celebration at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, in suburban Tokyo. - The operator of Tokyo's two Disney resorts, Disneyland and DisneySea, said on February 28, 2020 the parks would be closed for around two weeks on fears over the outbreak of the new coronavirus. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)
28 February 2020, MVT 18:41

The operator of Tokyo's two Disney resorts, Disneyland and DisneySea, said Friday the parks would be closed for around two weeks on fears over the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

"Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have decided to proceed with an extraordinary closure from Saturday February 29, 2020, through Sunday March 15" after the government urged measures to limit the spread of the virus, the operator said in a statement.

The operator Oriental Land said it currently hoped to resume operations from March 16.

"Currently, we plan to reopen on March 16. But we'll decide when to open by looking at the situation and developments. We'll also consult (official) agencies concerned," a spokesman told AFP.

More than 30 million visitors flood into the two parks per year, and they are among the most popular destinations for tourists coming to Tokyo.

The move comes as the Japanese government steps up measures to tackle the outbreak of the virus, which has been linked to at least four deaths in the country and nearly 200 infections.

On Thursday night, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged schools across the country to close for around a month, though nurseries and after-school clubs are exempt.

And the government has urged people to work from home and commute during off-peak hours, as well as avoid large gatherings.

Tokyo, Japan | AFP

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