Disneyland has been closed since March because of the coronavirus.
Face coverings will be mandatory at all theme parks that reopen unless guests are eating or drinking, and the parks must implement a reservation system that screens guests in advance for any COVID-19 symptoms. Today, new guidelines were announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.
Unions representing over 10,000 Disney theme park workers have told California Governor Gavin Newsom that the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, can safely reopen when its location moves into the state's "orange tier" of COVID-19 test positivity and adjusted case rate. While there are certainly health and safety concerns, many theme parks, including all of Disney's other parks around the world, are now open for business and operating under these new conditions, and so the feeling from many is that Disneyland could, and should, do the same.
Under the rules, large parks like Disneyland face more stringent requirements than smaller ones, and won't be able to open for at least several more weeks.
All large theme parks in California are now barred from reopening, regardless of local infection rates.
"They're nearly exclusively outdoors", he added. "Together with our labor unions we want to get people back to work, but these State guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community". The layoffs are unquestionably hard news, but as Bradley Pollock, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis, told The Los Angeles Times, California Governor Gavin Newsom and his staff are "confronting an extremely hard calculus in determining the size and pace of reopenings".
The announcement was not well-received by the California Attractions and Parks Association. The Governor has not used science or data to inform his decision.
"We wrote you in June 2020 to tell you that we were not yet convinced that it was safe to reopen the parks on Disney's timetable", the unions wrote in a letter dated October 17.
Their message is simple: They want the park open and they want the park open yesterday. "No one cares more about park employee and guest safety than the parks themselves", Executive Director Erin Guerrero said in a statement.
Professional sports are allowed to resume in Tier 3 (moderate spread/orange) at 20% capacity, and in Tier 4 (minimal spread/yellow) at 25% capacity.
Ghaly also released guidance for reopening stadiums, which he said are relatively less risky than theme parks.
Small theme parks are limited to 25 percent capacity or 500 people, whichever is fewer.
People will only be allowed to eat or drink in their assigned seats.