March 5 (UPI) — Disneyland could soon be opening its doors after California unveiled new guidelines Friday for the reopening of the state’s theme parks.
The California Department of Public Health announced it’s restructuring its four-tier system dictating when outdoor amusement parks and sports stadiums can reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the previous system, such establishments could only reopen when the county where they’re located reached the yellow, or least-restrictive tier based on coronavirus numbers.
The revamped system allows amusement parks to reopen with 15% capacity under the red, or second-strictest tier. Capacity grows to 25% under the third-strictest orange tier and 35% under the yellow tier. Outdoor sports and live performance venues can open to 100 people under the most-strict purple tier, 20% in the red tier, 33% in the yellow tier and 67% in the yellow tier.
“With case rates and hospitalizations significantly lower, the arrival of three highly effective vaccines and targeted efforts aimed at vaccinating the most vulnerable communities, California can begin gradually and safely bringing back more activities, especially those that occur outdoors and where consistent masking is possible,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “Even with these changes, California retains some of the most robust public health protocols in the country.”
California’s Disneyland and Universal Studios parks shuttered in March and, while Florida’s Disney and Universal parks have since reopened, the western state has maintained tighter restrictions.
Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Report, welcomed the news.
“We are encouraged that theme parks now have a path toward reopening this spring, and getting thousands of people back to work and greatly helping neighboring businesses and our entire community,” he said. “With responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world, we can’t wait to welcome our guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon.”
Under the new guidelines, outdoor theme parks and sports stadiums in counties under red, orange or yellow tiers could open beginning April 1. Attendance will be limited to in-state visitors.