Universal Studios Japan has shut down to comply with a new state of emergency. Tokyo Disneyland could be next.
Just a little over a month ago, Super Nintendo World opened to the public, giving Universal Studios Japan visitors a chance to step into the world of Super Mario Bros. for the first time. Now, the entire theme park is closing to the public as a result of precautionary measures to halt a rise in COVID-19 cases in Japan.
The closure isn't unique to Universal Studios Japan: Rising infection rates in the Tokyo and Osaka regions have led to a state of emergency being declared in both areas. Cases have been on a sharp rise in Japan, with a seven-day average of more than 4,500 new cases this week. That's the most cases Japan has seen since mid January, according to Johns Hopkins, and the numbers are still climbing.
With the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics on the horizon, the country is hoping temporary restrictions will help slow infections during the Golden Week holidays, when families typically travel to visit relatives. "We will implement short and intensive measures during Golden Week," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said during a recent COVID-19 task force meeting, "Strengthening steps related to eating establishments and temporarily halting the flow of people."
Despite the local state of emergency, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have not announced closures just yet -- although the theme parks will operate at reduced hours until May 11. Universal Studios and Super Nintendo World, meanwhile, will be closed on April 25 and remain closed until further notice.