Theme parks in California, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, may reopen from April 1 with social distancing restrictions if certain Covid-19 measures are followed, state officials ad Good news for the industry and local officials on Friday, who have been lobbying the state for months to allow the parks to reopen.
Theme parks will be allowed to reopen to California residents only, with no meals inside and with limits on rides inside.
Parks in counties that are in the state’s most restrictive purple level Covid-19 restrictions will not be allowed to reopen and the capacity of the park will be determined by the county level: counties in the least restrictive yellow level can operate at 35% of their capacity, 25% of their capacity for the orange level and 15% of their capacity. capacity for red level.
Previously, the state had blocked the reopening of large theme parks unless their counties hit the yellow level and had less than one daily case of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents, which theme park operators believed. to be too restrictive.
Theme parks were expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future due to previous restrictions, with Disney executives predicting in its first quarter earnings call that Disneyland would remain closed for the entire second quarter of the company.
Disneyland, Universal and Six Flags Magic Mountain acclaimed the announcement in Friday’s statements and said details of their reopening would be available soon.
Officials also said on Friday that outdoor stadiums and live performances would reopen with restrictions in place, as part of a wider “Blueprint Refresh” announcement in the state.
Orange and Los Angeles counties in California – where Disneyland and Universal are located, respectively – are currently in the purple tier, which would prevent them from immediately reopening. Both are expected to level red soon and thus be allowed to reopen, however, KTLA reports.
“We are encouraged that theme parks now have the opportunity to reopen this spring, put thousands back to work, and greatly help neighboring businesses and our entire community,” Ken Potrock, President of Disneyland Resort mentionned in a statement Friday. “With responsible Disney security protocols already in place around the world, we look forward to welcoming our guests and look forward to sharing an opening date soon.”
The new reopening directives put an end to a long stalemate. Disney and other theme park operators fiercely press reopen state and local officials and lawmakers decried the economic assessment of the closures of theme parks in their areas, introducing legislation this would allow the parks to reopen earlier. Governor Gavin Newsom stayed firmly opposed to relax their restrictions, however, leading to a tense clash between the two sides that even saw Disney chairman Robert Iger quit the state’s economic task force. The state’s theme parks have now been largely closed since last March, although some have started offering foodie events to draw crowds while complying with state guidelines. The downtown Disneyland Disney shopping district remained open, and the resort reopened some stores and restaurants at its Disney California Adventure theme park in November. The park will soon further expand its offer with a event with ticket to California Adventure that begins March 18.
California’s decision to reopen theme parks is part of a wider thrust by states to lift their Covid-19 restrictions in response to a recent drop in cases, which public health officials have said warned is misguided as coronavirus cases remain high. “In the face of all of this progress, it may seem tempting to try to get back to normal as if the virus is in the rearview mirror,” Andy Slavitt, White House adviser on Covid-19, said in a briefing on Friday. . “It’s not.”