China’s Universal Studios to partially reopen after six-week closure due to Covid controls in Beijing
- Phased reopening next week will allow for 75 per cent capacity and require proof of recent coronavirus test
- With a decline in infections, Beijing city is gradually easing restrictions for areas that have not reported any cases in a week
After being closed for more than a month, the Universal Beijing Resort will partially resume operations at a reduced capacity on June 15 while “adhering strictly” to China’s pandemic-control measures.
The resort had closed on May 1 as the capital city was reporting an increased number of coronavirus cases.
“Some venues may be temporarily unavailable in the early phase when we resume operations,” the world’s largest Universal Studios theme park said in a statement on Tuesday.
Upon reopening, the resort will cap the number of visitors at 75 per cent of capacity, guests must show proof of a negative coronavirus test within the last 72 hours, and other virus-prevention measures will be in place.
It features seven themed lands, many of which combine Hollywood worlds with Chinese cultural elements, including “Transformers: Metrobase” and the “Kung-Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness”.
Ticket sales will resume on Saturday, and the resort’s hotels will begin accepting guests from next Tuesday, a day before the park reopens.
China’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said there were 57 new symptomatic cases of Covid-19 reported in the country on Monday – none in Beijing – with 152 asymptomatic infections also reported.
Despite the numerous challenges presented by the pandemic, China’s theme park industry expanded in 2020, with 12 new theme parks starting operations and nine halting or suspending them, according to AECOM.
According to industry market research company IBIS World, China’s amusement park industry is expected to increase by 6.9 per cent in 2022, year on year, reaching a market size of US$5.5 billion.
Beth Chang, AECOM’s executive director of economics, expects that theme park attendance in China will reach at least 70-80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022, and she said it is likely to return to the 2019 level in the next two years.