California Allows Disneyland and Other Theme Parks to Reopen From April 1

Sulabh Gupta

Los Angeles - The health officials in California gave Disneyland and other theme parks permission to reopen at a limited capacity from April 1st. The go-ahead came after almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The news comes one day after Governor Gavin Newsom announced new metrics for reopening of the Southern California counties and other across the openings.

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Image Source: DisneyWorld.com

For the first time, the reopenings will be tied to the vaccination numbers and will prioritize the vaccination of the counties that have been hardest hit during the pandemic. The revamp will reportedly allow counties to have a daily rate of 10 new cases per 100,000 county population compared to the current 7 per 100,000. The test positivity threshold for red-tier will still be at 8%.

“California can begin gradually and safely bringing back more activities, especially those that occur outdoors and where consistent masking is possible. Even with these changes, California retains some of the most robust public health protocols in the country.” - Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

According to the details so far, the capacity of the theme parks will be limited between 15% to 35%, and masks and other safety health measures will still be in place. In addition, parks will only be open to state residents only to reduce the number of people flocking from nearby states. An update from the Department of Health stated that there will be limits to the building capacity and time you spend in the park.

Numbers in the Los Angeles county have been on a decline and are expected to be in the red tier threshold by early next week. The reopening of the LA parks and theme parks is contingent on the numbers staying in the red tier threshold for three consecutive weeks.

“Today’s announcement from the Newsom Administration is very encouraging news for California’s amusement parks. Parks now have a framework to safely and responsibly reopen. We appreciate the Administration’s willingness to work with the State’s theme parks on the finer details of the plan so parks can responsibly reopen soon, putting people safely back to work and reinvigorating local economies.” - Erin Guerrero, Executive Director of the California Attractions and Parks Association.

Theme park operators from Disney to Six Flags, have been in a bitter back and forth with Governor Gavin Newsom for almost a year in a push to allow the theme parks to reopen with enhanced safety protocols with Disney being the most vocal critic of the continuous lockdown and closure of its theme parks. The theme parks have considered the demands placed on them by Gov. Newsom's blueprint to be too restrictive.

Disney welcomed the news with the following tweet

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Karen Irwin, the President and COO of Universal Studios Hollywood, welcomed the news as, "Very exciting. We deeply appreciate the partnership with State and Local Health and Government officials and are thrilled to have finally arrived at this milestone announcement. The health and safety of our guests and team members remain our top priority, and we’re committed to ensuring full compliance with our newly established protocols as we continue to create an exceptional entertainment experience for everyone. We are ready to reopen, ready to bring our team members back to work, ready to help stimulate the local economy, and ready to welcome guests. ”

Outdoor Sports at Ballparks, Stadiums, and Live Concerts

For outdoor sports stadiums and live performances, in the most restrictive purple tier counties, outdoor venues will be strictly limited to only 100 people with only local residents permitted, advance ticket booking, and no concessions or concourse sales allowed. For counties in the red tier, the capacity will be limited to 20% with only in-state visitors and only in-seat concession sales. For the stadiums and concerts in counties in Orange and Yellow tiers, capacity will be limited to 33% and 67% only with only in-state visitors allowed.

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