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Disney Parks, Universal Studios To Close Over Coronavirus Concerns

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Major theme parks in the United States, including Walt Disney's parks in California and Florida, as well as Universal Studios are closing down temporarily amid the ever-increasing concerns over coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

The Disneyland Resort, comprising Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, will be closed beginning Saturday, March 14 through the end of the month. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time.

The theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, as well as Disneyland Paris Resort would also be temporarily closed starting at the close of business on March 15 through the end of the month.

In a statement, Disneyland said, "While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California's executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure..."

Disney added that the Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to help guests to make necessary travel arrangements. Downtown Disney will remain open. During the closure time, the guests can either change or cancel their visits, and those who have hotel bookings, will get refunds.

Hotels at Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice and the cast members would be paid during the closure period.

Disney also said that it will suspend all new departures with the Disney Cruise Line starting Saturday through the end of the month.

Disney's parks in Asia were already closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Similarly, Universal Studios Hollywood issued a statement, noting that it will be temporarily shut starting March 14. The theme park anticipates reopening on March 28 as it continues to monitor the situation. Universal Studios added that Universal CityWalk will remain open.

Universal Orlando Resort in Florida also announced it would temporarily close its theme parks starting at the close of business on March 15.

In the U.S., the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 1,600, spread across 47 states. The death toll in the nation has climbed to 41.

According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus has infected more than 132,500 people and killed nearly 5,000 worldwide as of March 12.

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