Cities have begun to reopen and now, so are amusement parks
The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.
SEEKING NORMAL: As states and cities relax restrictions, businesses are slowly doing the same.
— Two more Florida theme parks reopened Thursday for the first time since mid-March. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will open the gates, but reservations are being required to limit crowds, face masks are required and temperature screenings will be done at part entrances. Universal Orlando Resort reopened last week.
— Disney will reopen its two theme parks in California — Disneyland and California Adventure — on July 17. The Downtown Disney District, which includes restaurants and shops, will reopen on July 9. Walt Disney previously announced that two of its Disney World parks in Florida — Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom — will reopen on July 11. The other two parks — Hollywood Studios and Epcot — will reopen on July 15.
— Sam’s Club is rolling out curbside pickup across the country. The membership-only warehouse club, owned by Walmart, anticipates all 597 clubs will be participating by the end of the month.
— The Children’s Place will reopen the majority of its stores by July 1. After suffering a 38% plunge in sales during the first quarter with stores closed, CEO Jane Elfers said that sales this quarter are up in the low double-digits, and online demand is up 300%, with 61 stores open to the public in the U.S. and Canada as of Monday.
GOVERNMENTS & CENTRAL BANKS: Countries are wrestling with high unemployment and economies just now coming back to life.
— Tokyo lifted a coronavirus alert after the number of new cases stabilized, and the city will pursue further easing of business restrictions, with game centers, pachinko parlors and karaoke reopening Friday. The alert was issued last week after new cases jumped from 13, to 34.
The city is in stage two of a three-phase plan for businesses, meaning movie theaters and gyms have already begun to open.
Tokyo accounts for about a third of Japan’s 17,300 infections and 920 deaths.
TRAVEL: Travel that came to a standstill during the pandemic is starting to ramp up, slowly. The economic damage to the travel industry is massive.
— Lufthansa may cut 22,000 full-time jobs globally. That’s more than double the number of jobs that the German airline, which owns owns Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, had anticipated earlier. Lufthansa employs about 135,000 people and expects to have about 100 fewer planes in operation after the pandemic.
— With its planes flying at a capacity that’s been reduced by 85%, Delta Air Lines is bracing for a 90% plunge in revenue this quarter. That would mean the carrier, which posted revenue of more than $12.5 billion last year during the same period, expects revenue of only about $1.25 billion in the three-month period that ends in June.
Delta has slashed costs to offset the decline in travel. The company said in a regulatory filing that it expects cash outflow of about $40 million per day by the end of this month, down from approximately $100 million at the end of March.
— Turkey has restarted international flights for the first time since late March. Flights for London, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf, Germany, took off late Thursday.
— Finland will ease COVID-19 travel restrictions and lift internal border controls in passenger traffic with Nordic neighbors Denmark, Iceland and Norway as well the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Monday. The measures excludes Sweden, where the coronavirus situation is the worst in the Nordic region and the risk of spreading it through cross-border Sweden-Finland travel the highest.
MARKETS: Global stock markets tumbled Thursday after the Federal Reserve signaled a long path to recovery from the pandemic and amid reports of rising numbers of coronavirus infections in a number of U.S. states.
COLD TURKEY: Marlboro maker Philip Morris International expects revenue this quarter to slide near the high end of the 8% to 12% range it had provided earlier, citing lockdown restrictions. The decline toward the high end of the range is being caused by extended lockddowns in Latin American and European markets, the company said.