With some California theme parks less than a week away from reopening, the state has issued the full set of guidelines for how rides and attractions can operate while COVID-19 remains a threat.
Under California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, each county in the state falls into one of four tiers based on their average of daily new COVID-19 cases and test positivity rate, along with health and vaccination equity metrics.
Theme parks are allowed to reopen in Tier 2, or the “red” tier, at 15 percent of their pre-pandemix maximum capacity. However, the new guidelines detail safety rules that will be enforced in all tiers, including:
- Mandatory use of face masks by guests and employees, indoors and outdoors, except when actively eating or drinking
- In-park performers whose roles don’t allow for a face covering must stay six feet away from anyone else, unless both they and nearby employees are tested twice a week for COVID-19
- Limiting attendance to only California residents
- Guests must attest when buying tickets that their party will not include more than three households
- Limiting indoor rides to no more than 15 minutes
- No indoor shows or live entertainment allowed
- Outdoor queuing only, with physical distancing enforced between parties
- No eating or drinking allowed in queues
- Adjust loading process to allow for physical distancing
- Supplying replacement masks to any guests who loses a face covering on a ride
- Shutting down rides where guests frequently lose masks
Most of California’s counties are currently in the “red” tier. This includes the two Six Flags parks opening on April 1, Magic Mountain in Los Angeles County and Discovery Kingdom in Solano County, and San Diego County, where Legoland California will begin previews on April 1. Along with the 15 percent capacity limit, parks cannot allow indoor dining and parties will be limited to a maximum of 10 people in the “red” tier.
By the time Disneyland Resort opens on April 30 and Knott’s Berry Farm follows in May, Orange County may be in Tier 3, or the “orange” tier, allowing certain restrictions to be eased. In the “orange” tier, parks can:
- Operate at 25 percent capacity
- Allow indoor dining at 25 percent capacity
The next step would be Tier 4, or the “yellow” tier, which was the level California originally wanted to require to allow parks to reopen at all. In this tier:
- Park capacity limits would be raised to 35 percent (the same level being utilized at Disney World)
- Indoor dining capacity limits would be raised to 50 percent
The only two major California parks that have not announced reopening dates are Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego.
More Theme Park News:
Disneyland unveils potential expansion plans that could include new theme park lands
Six Flags Great America’s April 24 reopening date now official after Illinois guidelines change
California governor won’t release findings of state employees’ Disney World COVID-19 trip