Ocean park

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park reopens after 4 months of closure due to COVID-19

Hong Kong’s iconic theme park Ocean Park resumed operations on Saturday after being temporarily closed for more than four months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To ensure the health and safety of visitors, employees and animals, the maximum instantaneous capacity of the park will be reduced to 9,000 people, or 25% of the usual level, in the first two weeks of reopening.

A series of anti-epidemic measures will be put in place. All visitors are required to go through infrared thermo-imaging machines for a body temperature check before entering the park. They are also required to present their reservation QR code and registered tickets for admission to avoid overcrowding.

For the first few weeks after reopening, the park will operate six days a week except Tuesdays. Some of the park’s thrill ride facilities will remain closed.

The giant panda adventure will also be closed because the female giant panda that lived there managed to mate naturally in April and showed signs of pregnancy.

The park said reservation spots for the first 14 days of reopening have filled up in the four days since the reservation system launched earlier this week.

Reservations for June 27 to July 24 will open the morning of June 16.

Depending on the operational situation, the park will gradually increase its park-wide capacity to 50% of normal volume, or 18,000 people, starting the third week after reopening.

“This will allow us to welcome more visitors to the park and provide them with entertainment, educational experiences and conservation advocacy, especially during the summer holiday season when families are planning stays in Hong Kong. due to the outbreak and their cancellations of overseas trips,” said Timothy Ng, Ocean Park’s executive director of operations and entertainment.

The 43-year-old local theme park announced in early May that it would cease operations as early as June if it did not receive relief funds.

An urgent bailout of more than 5.4 billion Hong Kong dollars (approximately US$696 million) was then proposed by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong SAR) and was approved by the Hong Kong SAR Legislative Council to keep the park afloat.

The bailout will be used to help the theme park operate for another 12 months, repay commercial loans from the Ocean Park Corporation and pay the costs of completing a development project for the park.