Update (Fri 23rd Apr, 2021 14:45 BST): As suspected, the park’s closure has now been made official by Universal Studios Japan. The company has shared a statement addressing the news, noting that its parks will be closed from this Sunday, 25th April until the requirements of Osaka’s state of emergency have lifted (thanks, Nintendo Everything):
“Today, Universal Studios Japan has decided to temporarily close our park due to the substantial business shutdown request to operate with no spectators which was issued under the state of emergency for Osaka prefecture. The temporary closure will start from April 25th, 2021 and remain until the request has been lifted.
“We sincerely apologize for causing any inconvenience to our guests who were looking forward to visiting us. Detailed instructions regarding previously purchased tickets will be listed on our official website tonight.”
Original Article (Tue 20th Apr, 2021 12:00 BST): With rising cases and concern surrounding the coronavirus in Universal Studios Japan’s home prefecture of Osaka, the Super Nintendo World theme park could soon be forced to close just one month after opening its doors to the public.
Earlier this month, Universal Studios Japan had no choice but to limit visitor numbers as daily COVID-19 cases hit record figures across Osaka. With the UK strain of the coronavirus now causing even higher daily cases across the prefecture, Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura has announced that he plans to upgrade its current quasi-Emergency status to a full State of Emergency Declaration (thanks, WDW News Today).
According to Kyodo News, this proposed Emergency would mean that locations “where infection risks are high” – including Super Nintendo World’s home at Universal Studios Japan – would be forced to close. This wouldn’t be the first time that USJ has had to temporarily shut it doors; the park also closed for 99 days between February and June last year.
Despite Osaka’s current quasi-Emergency restrictions (which limits public gathering and travel without entering into a full lockdown), the prefecture reportedly recorded a “record-shattering” 1219 new coronavirus cases on Sunday.