A delegation of state officials is traveling to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood this week to review plans to reopen after a team from Governor Gavin Newsoms’ administration visited Florida last week to inspect the COVID-19 protocols at Disney World and Universal Orlando.
California theme parks have for months been asking state officials to visit their properties and review their COVID-19 health and safety protocols, with visits to the state only coming after the team from Newsoms took an unannounced trip out of state to inspect Florida theme parks.
SEE ALSO:What the proposed California theme parks guidelines could mean for Disneyland
Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other California theme parks remain closed pending long-promised reopening guidelines from the state after seven months of coronavirus closures.
State officials are visiting Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, according to California Health and Human Services Agency spokeswoman Kate Folmar.
The delegation includes representatives from the California Department of Public Health, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Board of Governors of Business and Economic Development.
As for California tours, these are coming up, and together the information and dialogue with our theme park operators across the state will help us land in a place where I think we can all. feel confident is based on the best and most modern. up-to-date information, California Secretary of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly said at a press conference this week.
SEE ALSO:Disneyland adopts county health agency recommendations after theme park visit
Southern California theme park tours follow out-of-state central Florida theme park tours.
California officials traveled to Florida last week to visit the theme parks at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, according to Folmar.
State officials inspected Florida theme park reopening protocols before issuing COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for California theme parks.
We sent health officials to open and operate theme parks out of state last week, independent of operators, to assess health guarantees in practice, Folmar said via email. These tours will help inform our pending theme park tips.
SEE ALSO:County health agency recommends reopening of Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm
The purpose of the theme park tour in Florida was to help the Newsoms team answer a key question: What can California learn from other states that have successfully reopened sectors of the economy?
I have a whole team spending their time not only getting that question answered, but asking the same questions, Newsom said at a press conference this week. As proof, we have supported an effort to find out directly by sending our own team to these sites, as far as theme parks are concerned, to get a better idea of what is going on. While we absolutely take people at their word for the information they provide to us, we want to see things for ourselves.
The Newsoms team researched best practices when visiting the theme park in Florida.
We were trying to better understand what was being said, what we were reading, our own concerns and our own surroundings in regards to what makes our theme parks unique and unique, Newsom said at the press conference. What has worked in their states and what has not worked in their states with regard to guidance, mandates and messaging.
The dogged research carried out by the Newsoms team in Florida will help inform guidelines to reopen California theme parks.
I want people to come back and tell me what they saw, what their own experience was, Newsom said at the press conference.
SEE ALSO: Disneyland concludes return to work agreements with 11 employee unions
California Attractions and Parks Association Executive Director Erin Guerrero applauded Newsoms’ decision to have a team visit California theme parks to review COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
It was heartwarming to hear Governor Newsom share that his administration is ready to work with the theme park industry, Guerrero said in a statement. We congratulate the Governor for accepting our invitation to visit iconic California parks, and we look forward to working together so theme parks can responsibly reopen soon. This will allow tens of thousands of people to return to work and provide a much needed boost to local and state economies that have been decimated by the shutdown.
SEE ALSO: Disneyland offers free COVID-19 testing for employees working during theme park closure
Disney announced in late September that 28,000 employees would be made redundant in the Disney Parks, Entertainment and Products division – mainly at Disneyland and Disney World – as the company continues to fight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An exact count of layoffs at the Disneyland resort is not yet available, but an early estimate places the number at over 8,700 employees and the number is expected to rise. Walt Disney World has laid off more than 15,700 employees.
Universal Studios Hollywood has announced 2,200 temporary or permanent layoffs due to the continued business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the WARN Act.
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