All Disney theme parks worldwide and both Universal Studios in the US will be closed starting this weekend, amid ongoing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The decision to close down was announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom, the governor directed that all gatherings of more than 250 people across California should be canceled for the month of March.
Earlier Thursday, Newsom said at a press conference that the ban on gatherings wouldn't apply to the Disney parks or to casinos, card rooms or theaters "because of the complexity of their unique circumstances." Newsom said he'd spoken with former Disney CEO Bob Iger on March 11 and had decided the Disney theme parks in Anaheim could remain open.
In a statement later Thursday, Disney Parks said there haven't been any reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, but that "in the interest of our guests and employees," it had decided to close the parks after carefully reviewing Newsom's executive order about large gatherings. The company said it would continue paying cast members during the closure and that it would work with guests who want to change or cancel visits and refund those with hotel reservations during the closure VARIETY reported.
US cases of coronavirus were sitting at around 1,300. Of those, more than 170 were in California.
Disney has already closed its parks in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.