Tourist attractions closed and events canceled amid coronavirus outbreak


As the virus spreads around the world, infecting more than 89,000 people globally, major tourist attractions and events that draw visitors from all over the globe are feeling its effects.

On March 1, the Louvre in Paris said it would not open that day or in the coming days following more than 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France. Staff from the world’s largest art museum met with the Exceptional Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee on March 2 to discuss reopening.

As new coronavirus cases are confirmed daily, more closures and cancellations are expected. For the most up-to-date information on the status of an attraction or event, check the institution’s or event’s main web page.

Attractions

One of South Korea’s most popular tourist attractions, Gyeongbokgung Palace, has suspended all official guided tours “until further notice,” according to the palace’s website. Self-guided tours, however, are permitted.
In Milan, where travel in recent days has been restricted, the Milan Duomo reopened to tourists on March 2 “with programmed and organized access to avoid crowds of people.”
But the Teatro alla Scala, a popular opera house in the city, has decided to extend its closure amid coronavirus concerns.
The Tokyo Sky Tree, a popular spot for first-time visitors to Japan’s capital city, closed on March 1, with plans to reopen March 15 “out of consideration for the health and safety of our guests and associates,” according to the attraction’s website.
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Theme parks

When Shanghai Disney closed on January 24, it did not offer any information on its plans to reopen. With the number of confirmed coronavirus cases — and deaths — higher in China than anywhere else, it’s unclear when Shanghai Disney will resume operations.

The resort’s website states the theme park is in close contact with health officials and the local government and will announce the reopening date once they’ve been advised it’s safe to do so.

Hong Kong Disneyland is also temporarily closed with no reopening date scheduled.

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Meanwhile, in Japan, where the outbreak has escalated in recent weeks, both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are closed and set to reopen March 16.
Disney-themed parks aren’t the only ones impacting tourists’ travel plans. In Thailand, major theme park Legend Siam announced its closure starting March 3 due to a drop in visitors.

If you have travel plans centered around visiting a theme park or resort area, check with the park for the latest information on operations.

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Museums

Several museums in Milan, Venice and other areas in northern Italy were closed temporarily and will reopen with new safety measures.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, for example, will limit large group gatherings and is asking that visitors “respect the distance of at least one meter between one another.”
In Beijing, the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City has been closed since January 25 with no definitive plans on when it will reopen.
Several museums in Japan have temporarily shuttered amid the virus outbreak. The Mori Art Museum, National Museum of Modern Art and the Kyoto National Museum are among the closures, reports ARTnews.

In South Korea, the National Museum of Korea and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art are among the country’s national institutions closed until further notice.

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Events

One of the world’s largest marathons, the Tokyo Marathon, went off with a major hitch yesterday.

An extremely limited field of elite runners was allowed to run the race as planned. Others were left scrambling to make different arrangements.

Following suit, in accordance with the French government’s order that all public gatherings of more than 5,000 people be canceled, Paris announced cancellation of its annual winter half marathon. The 40,000-plus running event was supposed to take place on the city’s streets on March 1.

So far, there are no plans to cancel the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But Japan’s baseball season got off to a lackluster start with the Giants first two games played in an empty Tokyo Dome.

The Thailand Grand Prix announced its postponement, and there’s speculation that the Vietnam Grand Prix will not go on as scheduled on April 5.

No cultural corner is immune to the outbreak. Several musical artists have canceled tour dates in Asia, including BTS and Green Day. Green Day’s website indicates it plans to resume touring in Moscow this spring.

As to whether you should cancel or keep any upcoming travel plans, it’s a personal calculation for each traveler.

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