Shanghai Disneyland reopens – but with strict restrictions in place

Shanghai Disneyland has reopened its gates after months of shutdown, offering a potential model for mass entertainment venues to open for business during the pandemic.

It is the first of the Disney resorts to reopen, and tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale on Friday.

Visitors have streamed into the park, with many wearing Mickey Mouse ears and children dressed as Disney characters.

Visitors wearing face masks line up to enter the park

Attendance is capped at a third of its normal 80,000 person capacity, customer entry is staggered according to time slots, and social distancing, mask wearing and temperature checks are being enforced.

Rides will be limited to one group of visitors per car and pavements have been painted to show visitors where to stand to keep a safe distance.

The president of the resort, Joe Schott, told reporters: “We hope that today’s reopening serves as a beacon of light across the globe, providing hope and inspiration to everyone.”

The Shanghai park was closed on 25 January, followed by the Tokyo resort in February and then the French and US parks in March.

The reopening will be welcome to Disney, which said in its recent earnings report that resort and cinema closures had cost $1.4bn (£1.13bn) in profit.

The Chinese government said last week that cinemas, museums and other venues will gradually reopen, a sign of confidence that the outbreak can be safely controlled.

Pavements have been marked out to help visitors keep a safe distance

Social distancing, mask wearing and temperature checks are being enforced

But concerns about a resurgence of cases linger.

Wuhan, the original centre of the coronavirus outbreak, reported its first new cluster of infections since its strict lockdown was lifted a month ago.

Five people were reported as new cases, all living in the same residential compound.

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All five had previously been reported as asymptomatic – those who test positive for COVID-19 and are able to infect others but do not show symptoms themselves.

China does not include asymptomatic cases in its total official count until patients display symptoms.

South Korea also confirmed new cases, reporting 35 new infections on Sunday.

Many are from a cluster linked to nightclubs and bars in Itaewon, in Seoul.

Officials have traced and tested more than 2,450 people who went to the area but are still looking for 3,000 more.