California says Disneyland and other amusement parks can reopen in April
The happiest place on Earth will soon be open for business again — for real this time.
Disneyland and other amusement parks will be allowed to reopen at limited capacity starting April 1, California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly announced Friday. The state has begun to relax its COVID-19 restrictions as cases have dropped following the holiday season surge.
Reopening will depend on cases remaining low, as California's tier system requires counties to maintain a weekly average of less than seven new COVID cases per 100,000 residents to avoid the most restrictive shutdown.
This still marks a step down from the state's previous protocols, which Disneyland blasted as "unworkable" in October. Per those regulations, the park could only reopen once it had reached the lowest tier of restrictions.
Disneyland has been closed since March 2020, when the Anaheim resort first shut down due to concerns over the pandemic. Walt Disney World in Florida, meanwhile, has been open at limited capacity since July. Due to stringent safety measures, including mandating face masks, no COVID outbreaks have apparently taken place at the Orlando resort. Disneyland also announced it would reopen in July, but ultimately postponed those plans due to rising cases in California.
The pandemic has taken a major toll on Disney's parks business; the company announced in November that it would cut 32,000 jobs, after previously announcing 28,000 employees would be laid off in North America alone. According to CNN, Disney reported a $29 million profit in the first quarter of 2021, down 99 percent from $2.1 billion last year.