Disney eyes reopening US theme parks amid pandemic

Walt Disney Co. denounced on Tuesday California’s new guidelines for reopening theme parks, saying they would complicate the company’s bid to reopen Disneyland.

“We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world,” said Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock.

However, these state guidelines will keep us shuttered for “the foreseeable future,” Potrock said, adding that the state’s actions so far “have cost tens of thousands of jobs across the industry, and today’s announcement will all but confirm that thousands more will be lost.”

The criticism came after California’s director of health and human services, Dr. Mark Ghaly, announced that large California theme parks will be able to open at 25 percent capacity when their counties reach the lowest yellow tier under the color-coded reopening system for counties based on COVID-19 prevalence and testing rates.

Under California’s four-tier scheme, the lowest tier means daily cases of COVID-19 must number less than one per 100,000. Currently. Only nine of California’s 58 counties are in the yellow tier.

Disneyland is the only Disney park that remains closed amid the pandemic. The company has reopened resorts in Florida, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Tokyo with attendance limits and other safeguards.

Disney said last month that it was laying off 28,000 employees from its theme parks.