As many cities and countries across the world begin reopening in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns, theme parks in Orlando are starting to reveal their own plans with Universal Studios taking the lead. According to an official employed by the park, Universal Studios Orlando is set top reopen its gates for visitors on June 5th. There are major reopening guidelines in place, including guests mandatorily wearing masks and being subject to temperature checks, while some other installations will be closed down in order to minimize the possible spread of COVID-19 to guests who attend the park.
The new release states that employees will return to the park for a "dry run" on June 1st, followed by guests being invited for another test run on June 3rd. Then, the park will open its doors to the public on June 5th, with operations hopeful to be getting back to normal shortly after.
Interactive play areas will remain closed, misters will not be operational, and menus in restaurants will be single-use on printed paper, not reusable. Valet parking will also be discontinued, as will meet-and-greet opportunities after shows. They are also discouraging the use of cash, though it will still be accepted at the park.
Signage will also be posted throughout Universal Studios, encouraging and reminding guests to practice social distancing. The park will be limited to a lower capacity, though that will increase as time goes on and people remain safe, hoping to curb the spread of COVID-19.
All of this comes after government officials inspected the park, determining that it would be safe to reopen should these guidelines be enforced.
"We are in frequent contact with health officials, our own health experts and others in our industry and we are closely monitoring the situation," said spokesperson Tom Schroder. "We are communicating with our team members and reinforcing our best-practice health and hygiene procedures. We are also educating them on basic preventive measures. In addition, we are reviewing and enhancing our already aggressive cleaning protocols. And for the comfort and convenience of our guests, we are increasing the number of hand-sanitizer units in our parks. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and be ready to act as needed."
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