California is “getting very close” to reopening Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) and other theme parks in the state but remains not quite ready to issue Coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety guidelines which would end the six-month closure of the theme parks.
During a virtual online news conference yesterday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly discussed the timeline for issuing theme park COVID-19 reopening guidelines. “We’re getting very close,” Ghaly said during yesterday’s news conference.
California theme parks closed in mid-March and have remained closed whilst they await guidelines for safety reopening from the state.
“We’re working hard to get that out in a responsible way, as soon as possible, so planning can be done by both the counties that are homes to the theme parks, as well as the operators of those theme parks,” Ghaly said during the news conference. “We know that a number of Californians are eager and wondering when that is coming.”
Officials of the state have been promising but not providing guidelines for a while now, much to the frustration of Disney, Universal and other parks. Newsom said a month ago that he would announce a reopening plan for California theme parks “soon” and said two weeks ago that guidelines would be coming “very very shortly.”
California theme parks have been left waiting whilst other elements of the economy have reopened under Governor Gavin Newsom’s four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Theme park leaders, city leaders, state lawmakers and industry associations (including unions) have called on Newsom to reopen Disneyland, USH, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California and other theme parks throughout the state.
“We are working with those industries to put out something that is thoughtful, allows us to maintain the rest of our framework in a strong way and really following those principles of slow and stringent to ensure those large activities are done responsibly, “
The above-mentioned press conference happened on the same day that the Walt Disney Company announced that 28,000 employees would be laid off – find out more here.
Stay tuned to Orlando Theme Park Zone for more on the developing story, which is turning out to be a debacle.