Reports: China Tourist Sites Closed Due to Coronavirus

A customer walks out of a Yifeng Pharmacy in Wuhan, China. // Photo by AP Photo/Dake Kang via Newscred

Major tourist attractions in China are closed in a bid to contain an outbreak of a deadly strain of coronavirus. 

In a statement on its website, Shanghai Disneyland announced that it will close temporarily starting Saturday, January 25. Disneytown, including the Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, will also close on that day. 

“We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon completion,” the theme park said. 

Shanghai Disney Resort will offer refunds for guests who have purchased park tickets, have booked a resort hotel or have booked tickets for Beauty and the Beast Mandarin Production

Tour operator Trails of Indochina reports that a number of tourist attractions are closed as of Friday, January 24. These include:

  • The Forbidden City in Beijing
  • The Terracotta Warriors in Xian
  • Yu Garden in Shanghai
  • The Great Wall at Jinshanling in Beijing,
  • Great Wall (Mutianyu Section) in Beijing
  • The Ming Tombs in Beijing
  • Gubei Water Town in Beijing
  • Prince Gong's Mansion in Beijing,
  • Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xian
  • The Ancient City Walls in Xian
  • Shaanxi History Museum(Closed on Monday) in Xian
  • Wuzheng and most sites in Hangzhou
  • Huangpu River Cruise in Shanghai
  • Mogao Caves in Dunhuang

“We believe there will be more and more sites closed in the coming days & weeks and we do not know when they will reopen,” the tour operator said in a written statement. “Therefore, we are advising against travel to China until further notice. We are contacting all travel partners and guests with confirmed bookings to China to evaluate options.”

Travel Waivers

A number of major airlines have issued refunds or travel waivers for customers booked to fly to Wuhan, which has been placed on quarantine to contain the virus. 

Air China will issue refunds for all flights booked before midnight on January 24. 

China Airlines is offering passengers who file an application by March 31 the option to rebook without a change fee or difference in tax and far, or a full refund. 

American Airlines is offering refunds to passengers who bought their tickets by January 23 and who are scheduled to travel through March 31. 

United Airlines is offering refunds travelers who booked by January 21 who are scheduled to fly through March 29. 

Delta reports it is “offering flexibility to any customer with a future trip,” and encourages travelers to contact its reservations department for details. 

World Health Organization Decision

On Thursday the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it was too early to declare the situation a “global health emergency,” which is defined as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response. The WHO also said that it is taking the situation seriously and will continue to monitor the situation. 

The first cases of this strain of coronavirus appeared last month in Wuhan; since then, 17 people have died and other cases have been reported in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Airports in many major cities have instituted health screenings for passengers arriving from China, but the WHO has not recommended any broader restrictions on travel or trade. 

In addition to Wuhan, China has placed two other cities on quarantine. 

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