Recently the IATA (International Air Transportation Association) has called for governments around the world to stop enforcing a 14-day quarantine and embrace coronavirus testing. If this actually happens, what could the implication be for Disney Parks around the world? Let’s talk about it.
The IATA states that mandatory quarantines “kill demand for air travel” and encourages global governments to consider the economic impact this is having not only on the air travel business, but also the global and local economies that depend on people flying. They go on to say:
“People want and need global mobility. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Take-off measures make flying safe. But border closures, movement restrictions and quarantine measures make travel impossible for most. We must manage how we live with the virus. But that does not have to mean destroying aviation, risking millions of jobs, crippling economies and tearing apart the international social fabric. We could safely open borders today with systematic COVID-19 testing,”said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
What could happen to theme parks if this call to action was heard? It COULD drastically turn the tide for Disney’s international theme parks as more Guests could be welcomend into the parks with fewer hurdles to jump through.
Currently, Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland are open. Both Hong Kong and China are currently mandating that visitors to the country undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. There are also limitations to what types of visas China will process at this time– if you have questions regarding tourist visas, contact your nearest Embassy or consulate.
The quarantine, in particular, though, is deterring international travelers from the United States, Europe, and other locations from visiting Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland.
Additionally, France is enforcing mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers who are allowed to cross their borders — not all nationalities are currently welcome amid COVID-19. Even though Disneyland Paris is currently closed, when it reopens a dismissal of the mandatory quarantine could be great for business at the park.
Japan also has a quarantine that is only waived if you are a business traveler. So, if you want to take a leisure trip to Japan to visit Tokyo Disneyland you will also have to quarantine for two weeks. Again, Japan does have some visa processing limitations at this time depending on the nature of your trip.
Even though the mandatory quarantines are hurting international business for the theme parks, they do have a clear purpose. Countries are trying to stifle coronavirus cases as they continue to grow globally. By enforcing these quarantines and deterring leisure travel, governments are doing their best to halt rising case numbers.
What IATA is calling for in an increase in mandatory testing for international travelers instead of the quarantine in an attempt to let international travel resume. They are not calling for complete disregard of the pandemic by any stretch of the imagination.
There is no easy answer for what is the right thing to do in a situation such as the one we are all facing.
We can speculate that by taking away the 14-day mandatory quarantine and encouraging testing, the Disney Parks in Asia and Europe could benefit globally. This would help more Cast Members retain employment — additional layoffs at Disneyland Paris were just announced today — and also save some exciting project that are in their early stages from being cut due to budgetary reasons.
The best-case scenario in all of this is that a successful vaccine is widely distributed and COVID cases can be mitigated in early 2021. Especially for Disney, this could mean a return to more normalcy for their theme park operations. But, more so for everyone, this could mean a return to normalcy in life.
What do you think? Could a lift of mandatory quarantining and an increase in COVID-19 testing be the answer to help Disney theme parks globally? Let us know your opinion in the comments.