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Hong Kong Disneyland reopens as challenges hit Florida Park

The future of Disney World in Florida is the subject of much speculation this week after its parent company decided to dabble in politics and met surprisingly stiff resistancebut Disney can take comfort in knowing that its hong kong park reopened on Thursday after a three-month coronavirus shutdown, and the response from Hong Kong customers has been overwhelmingly positive.

the Associated press (AP) reported that “enthusiastic visitors rushed to Disneyland as soon as the doors opened,” eager to return to what parents and children described as their favorite “happy place.”

Hong Kong Disney is not yet fully reopened. City officials are allowing theme parks to operate halfway, and visitors are urged to maintain social distancing practices. A few other popular attractions, such as the SeaWorld-like ocean parkhave reopened under similar restrictions.

Many other restrictions have been relaxed on April 14, including permission for salons, gyms and cinemas to reopen at 50% capacity. Restaurants can now accommodate four people per table, and neighborhood gatherings are no longer limited to a maximum of two houses.

“To relax these measures, to allow a certain degree of normal activities in society, with more interaction between citizens, they will inevitably come with certain risks of transmission,” conceded the outgoing chief executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam.

Lam said Hong Kong is “much, much better prepared” to deal with a new wave of coronavirus, thanks to higher vaccination percentages and more treatment facilities.

The AP observed that Hong Kong occupies a curious position in China’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown horror: The semi-autonomous island still has an ongoing omicron outbreak, though it has improved a lot since then. its peak of 30,000 cases in March to around 1,200 today, but it has never locked down as tightly as Shanghai, and Hong Kong residents have grown weary even of their relatively mild quarantine.

Hong Kong’s reluctance to adhere to Beijing’s maniacal “zero-Covid” policies has earned it condemnation from angry mainlanders who blamed it for spreading the omicron variant to neighboring cities. Senior Communist officials, including dictator Xi Jinping, urged Hong Kong to take stricter measures to control its epidemic.

Despite this, Hong Kong residents have fled in droves, fearing both pandemic restrictions and ideological crackdowns by the Communist Party. Official immigration data shows around 66,000 people are leaving every month, an exodus driven by what a property consultant last week described as “a collective loss of patience in the face of anti-pandemic measures”. Expats are heading to Australia, Canada, Taiwan, the UK (the former controlling power of Hong Kong) and the somewhat similar financial hub of Singapore.

On Friday, the city government announcement it would allow foreigners to resume inbound flights next month, lifting a nearly two-year-old ban on entry. Visitors will be required to submit to several coronavirus tests, one of which will require them to spend seven days in hotel quarantine until the results come in.


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