Disneyland Reopening Delayed Due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases in California
After announcing a phased re-opening of Disneyland next month, the Walt Disney Company announced today that operations at the park would not resume on the previously announced dates.
In a statement, Disney said, "The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials."
They added: "Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date."
Yesterday, California reported a state record of 7,149 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Several unions were planning a protest of the park this weekend, stating that the company was putting staff and the public at risk by reopening too soon.
The re-opening was set to begin July 7 with the Downtown Disney area. Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure park were set to follow, resuming operations on July 17. Two hotels on the property, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and the Disney Paradise Pier hotel were planning to re-open July 23.
According to the report Downtown Disney will now re-open July 9, allowing visitors to shop and dine in the area.
There is no word on whether or not the announcement will also affect the planned two-part phased re-opening of the WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort in Florida.
Guidelines for responsible re-opening were set forth for Disney World last month including reduced capacity, mandatory face coverings for guests and staff, temperature screenings before admittance to the parks, temporary suspension of gatherings that draw crowds including parades and fireworks, the expansion of cashless transactions, and increased hand sanitizing stations throughout the parks. Further information regarding the re-openings will become available at a later date.
Of the re-openings, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said, "We've done everything we can to open up responsibly. Taking the guidance of local health officials, state health officials, national health officials, plus our own well-qualified doctors on staff to create an environment to create new operating procedures, to create new policies, to do new training, new standards of hygiene."
The company shuttered both American Disney Parks in mid-March as Covid-19 began to sweep the United States, after closing its Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Japan parks in January. Shanghai Disneyland resumed operations on May 11.
It has been estimated that Disney lost approximately $35 million each day from park closures.
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