Ocean Park Hong Kong prepares for reopening

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong is preparing to reopen in full swing, with strict precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of guests, staff and animals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ocean Park has been temporarily closed since January in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, the attraction is carefully evaluating its reopening schedule.

Health and safety considerations are Ocean Park’s top priority. It will also follow government guidelines and advice for resuming social activities.

Ocean Park plans to launch exclusive offers for residents of Hong Kong, as well as new experiences upon reopening.

Exclusive offers for residents of Hong Kong

“In an unprecedented move, Ocean Park has remained closed for three months since January 26 due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Matthias Li, chief executive of Ocean Park.

“Consequently, the park had to honour a high volume of cancellations across all business streams, reversing confirmed revenues while new business came to a standstill.

“The financial impact is significant and far-reaching, crunching the park’s financial situation to an all-time low.”

Li added that the local epidemic “has shown signs of stabilising”, but said the global situation “is yet to be under control with the possibility of a second outbreak”.

‘Extremely challenging operating environment’

“This in turn puts the park in an extremely challenging operating environment.” Ocean Park will focus on local visitors to begin with.

“We are making all necessary operational adjustments, focusing on facility cleaning and disinfection, social distancing arrangements and adaptation of activity formats in particular, to ensure the Park will reopen in the best and safest condition possible to give visitors peace of mind,” said Li.

When it reopens, Ocean Park’s opening hours will run from 10am to 6pm. Visitors will be required to make advance reservations online and present booking codes for admission.

Capacity at the park and on rides will be reduced by more than half, and alternative row capacity will be implemented at all theatres.

Temperature checks and masks at Ocean Park

The number of attractions available for free reservation on the ‘eScheduler’ mobile app will be increased to six to shorten waiting times.

Visitors and staff will undergo temperature checks upon entry, and staff members will be required to wear masks at all times.

Visitors will be required to wear masks at entrances, attractions, rides, shops and indoor facilities. Masks will be available to buy.

Ocean Park has installed additional hand sanitiser dispensers at the entrances and exits of attractions and facilities, while floor stickers will help with social distancing.

Disinfecting the park’s main facilities regularly

As for cleaning measures, Ocean Park’s main facilities will be disinfected every one to two hours, while air filtration systems will be sprayed with disinfectant that kills 99 percent of viruses and bacteria.

The cleaning team will perform nightly deep cleaning across Ocean Park with high-pressure jets.

At restaurants, tables will be kept 1.5m apart, with no more than eight people seated at one table, and all F&B facilities will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after daily operation.

All menus will be disinfected after each use, while F&B staff will wear masks and gloves for handling food. Dishes will be covered when delivered from the kitchen.

Hong Kong government bailout plan for Ocean Park

Meanwhile, the government of Hong Kong said that it is preparing a revised bailout plan to inject HK$5.4 billion into Ocean Park (via The Star).

Ocean Park also sought an HK$10.64 billion cash injection from the SAR government in January. There are growing concerns that the theme park will cease operations as early as June, if it’s unable to obtain the funds.

Leo Kung Lin-cheng, chairman of Ocean Park’s board, said it has lost approximately HK$700 million in the past three months.

Haichang Ocean Park Holdings recently released its annual report and accounts for 2019, noting “material uncertainty” around the group as a going concern due to the coronavirus pandemic.