California gives new guidance on Disneyland, theme park reopenings

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California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gives new guidelines for reopening theme parks in the state.

He also said guidance today would involve theme parks and live professional sporting events at outdoor stadiums.

He added all personal care services may resume operations indoors with modifications in Tier 1 which is widespread and purple. He said those include tattoo parlors, hair removal and massage businesses that will be added to the personal care services and can reopen.

“Based on a number of conversations, we are moving all personal care services able to resume operations indoors with the stated modifications in Tier 1, that is the purple tier. We started out with hair salons, barber shops open in Tier 1, we later added nail salons and today we are adding tattoo parlors, hair removal and massage businesses,” Ghaly said. “All of those personal services as we have categorized them are now in Tier 1.”

THEME PARKS

Ghaly said smaller theme parks may resume operations in Tier 3 which is moderate and orange. He said there would be a limited capacity of 25 percent of 500 visitors, whichever is fewer.

He said they can only open outdoor attractions and ticket sales are limited to visitors in the same county. He said examples of smaller theme parks include boardwalks or amusement park venues in counties.

Ghaly said ALL theme parks may resume operations in tier 4 or yellow and minimal. He said this means larger theme parks guidance.

They are required to implement a limited capacity of 25 percent and all theme parks will implement a reservation system and screen guests in advance.

Orange County, which is home to Disneyland in Anaheim, is in the red tier right now. In late August, Gov. Newsom announced a four-tier system for reopening guidelines in the state based on case rate and test positivity for county movement.

“Face coverings will be mandatory in the theme parks unless eating or drinking,” Ghaly said.

In California, as of October 20, California has 874,077 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 16,992 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 0.1 percent from the previous day's total of 16,970.

There are many people who just can’t wait for the big theme parks to reopen and some park employees would love to go back to work as well.

But the new state guidelines coming out today could keep everything shut down for now. Those guidelines could be very strict requiring a county to be in California’s “yellow” coronavirus tier for a theme park to open at 25 percent capacity.  And getting into the yellow tier could be a real challenge.

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett notes that Orange County would have to climb two levels to get to the yellow tier.  And she doesn’t like the idea at all that under the guidelines you  have to live within 120 miles of a theme park to go to that theme park.

Bartlett believes the theme parks should be allowed to reopen at reduced capacity if the local counties reach the “orange” coronavirus tier.

Last month, it was announced around 28,000 workers would be laid off by Disney at its parks in California and Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same month, Walt Disney Co. officials indicated the company was ready to reopen Disneyland in Anaheim, CA if the state would allow it. In September, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences & Products appealed to Newsom.

Walt Disney World reopened earlier this summer.

OUTDOOR STADIUMS
Ghaly said sporting events at outdoor stadiums may resume in Tier 3 or orange and moderate tier at 20 percent operations and in Tier 4 at 25 percent operations. Ticket sales are restricted to customers within 120 mile radius and advance ticket sales and assigned seats are required.

Ghaly said face coverings are mandatory and tail gating is prohibited.

Ghaly also gave guidelines earlier this month for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.

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