EconomyEditor's PickHong Kong Disneyland closes for one day as staff take COVID-19 tests

November 17, 2021

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s Disneyland will close for a day on Wednesday for staff to take compulsory COVID-19 tests after authorities found one person who visited the theme park over the weekend was infected with the coronavirus.

Disneyland, majority-owned by the city government with Walt Disney holding a minority stake, said in a statement the closure was out of “an abundance of caution” and advised visitors to reschedule.

Any person who visited the park, which had to close multiple times for prolonged periods since the start of the pandemic, on Nov. 14 between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. would also have to get tested by Thursday, the government said separately.

Despite barely recording any local coronavirus cases in recent months, authorities in the global financial hub have tightened up quarantine and patient discharge rules.

Hong Kong is following Beijing’s lead in retaining strict travel curbs, in contrast to a global trend of opening up and living with the coronavirus. The city government hopes the tighter rules would convince China, its main source of economic growth, to gradually open its border with Hong Kong.

At Shanghai Disneyland last month, guests who were already inside were told to undergo tests at the exit related to COVID-19 investigations linked to other Chinese provinces and cities.

International business lobby groups have warned Hong Kong could lose talent and investment, as well as competitive ground to rival finance hubs such as Singapore, unless it relaxes its restrictions on travel.

The president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said on Tuesday she is resigning as she cannot appeal to authorities to ease COVID-19 restrictions at the same time as having to undergo quarantine herself.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, who was in Hong Kong on Monday and was exempt from quarantine under current rules for some executives, said the city’s COVID-19 policy was making it tougher to retain staff. – Reuters

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