The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted in favor of a bill that seeks to allow Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood to reopen earlier — possibly much earlier.
Assembly Bill 420, a bipartisan bill by Assembly members Sharon Quirk-Silva and Suzette Martinez Valladares, seeks to allow large California theme parks like Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Universal Studios Hollywood to reopen in tier 3 instead of tier 4. This way, all theme parks would be allowed to reopen in the same tier. Currently, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint For a Safer Economy states that only smaller theme parks and amusement parks (with capacities of less than 15,000 Guests) are allowed to reopen in tier 3, and larger parks (like Disney and Universal) cannot reopen until tier 4.
This week, news broke that the LA County Board of Supervisors has joined other officials and organizations that are supporting the bill to reopen all California theme parks in the same tier. The Anaheim City Council also voted in support of the bill — you can read more here.
Yahoo! News reports that LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger sent a letter of support to the bill’s sponsors earlier in February.
“With full outdoor operations and the ability to maintain physical distancing, theme parks across the country have proven that they can safely reopen,” Barger wrote, as reported by Yahoo! News. “Large theme parks nationwide began reopening last summer and there (have) not yet been any outbreaks or spread from these establishments.”
In her letter, Barger makes a point to say that she believes Los Angeles County will not easily reach tier 4, the minimal tier, in which there is only one new positive COVID-19 case per 100,000 residents, per day, which is needed in each county for the theme parks in that county to reopen. Universal Studios Hollywood, located in L.A. County, has also expressed concern regarding this. Tier 3, the moderate tier, means there are between 1.0 – 3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 residents.
“It’s imperative that California theme parks shift to reopen in Tier 3,” said Universal Studios Hollywood Chief Operating Officer Karen Irwin earlier this month. “A Tier 4 reopening is untenable in L.A. County, and would likely keep our businesses closed indefinitely since even two cases per 100,000 would exceed the requirement.”
Disney Parks officials do not expect to be able to reopen Disneyland or Disney California Adventure theme parks until later in 2021, and certainly after March. Assembly Bill 420, as we have reported, and the California Attractions and Parks Association (which represents Disney, Universal, and other parks in California) seek to change that.
Disneyland Resort officials have not recently spoken out regarding Assembly Bill 420. We will report back as more news regarding California theme park operations becomes available.
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