Home U.S Disney attacks California Gov. Newsom's 'arbitrary' COVID guidelines that keep Disneyland shuttered

Disney attacks California Gov. Newsom's 'arbitrary' COVID guidelines that keep Disneyland shuttered


Disney has attacked California Governor Newsom for his ‘arbitrary’ COVID guidelines that will keep Disneyland ‘shuttered for the foreseeable future’, after the state announced further delays to reopening large theme parks Tuesday.  

Disneyland Resort’s President Ken Potrock blasted state officials in a statement Tuesday saying the reopening guidelines are ‘unworkable’ and will force ‘thousands more people out of work’. 

The outrage came after the state released protocols for reopening California theme parks Tuesday, revealing it will still be several weeks before Disneyland in Anaheim, California, can start welcoming guests back to the so-called ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.  

Tensions have been building between the amusement park giant and Newsom as the state continued to keep theme parks shuttered. 

Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned from Newsom’s COVID-19 economic task force earlier this month as the company announced it had to lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and products division.

Disney has attacked California Governor Newsom for his 'arbitrary' COVID guidelines that will keep Disneyland 'shuttered for the foreseeable future', after the state announced further delays to reopening large theme parks Tuesday. Disneyland in Annaheim California

Disney has attacked California Governor Newsom for his ‘arbitrary’ COVID guidelines that will keep Disneyland ‘shuttered for the foreseeable future’, after the state announced further delays to reopening large theme parks Tuesday. Disneyland in Annaheim California

Disneyland Resort's President Ken Potrock blasted state officials in a statement Tuesday saying the reopening guidelines are 'unworkable'

Disneyland Resort’s President Ken Potrock blasted state officials in a statement Tuesday saying the reopening guidelines are ‘unworkable’

Potrock launched a public attack on state officials Tuesday, releasing a statement admonishing the latest reopening rules.  

‘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,’ he said.

‘Nevertheless the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a higher standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities. 

‘Together with our labor unions we want to get people back to work, but these State guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparable devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community.’

The state’s secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly announced plans Tuesday for reopening California’s famous theme parks including the likes of Disneyland, Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Under the rules, large parks like Disneyland face more stringent requirements than smaller ones, and won’t be able to open for at least several more weeks. 

The state released protocols for reopening California theme parks Tuesday, revealing it will still be several weeks before Disneyland can start welcoming guests back to the so-called 'Happiest Place on Earth'. Pictured Newsom

The state released protocols for reopening California theme parks Tuesday, revealing it will still be several weeks before Disneyland can start welcoming guests back to the so-called ‘Happiest Place on Earth’. Pictured Newsom 

Large parks can only reopen when the home county it resides in reaches the Tier 4 of ‘minimal’ risk level for coronavirus transmission.

This is the state’s lowest risk level and is when the county has less than one new daily new case per 100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average and a positivity rate of less than 2 percent.  

If or when a park can reopen, the parks will then be subject to strict protocols including being limited to just 25 percent capacity for visitors. 

Indoor dining and drinking in the parks are also limited to 25 percent. 

Small parks – those with less than 15,000 overall capacity – only have to reach the Tier 3 – or moderate – coronavirus risk level where the county is recording less than four new daily cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of less than 5 percent.       

Capacity is also limited to 25 percent or 500 people, whichever is fewer and can only accept visitors who live in the county.

All parks must only sell tickets in advance and face coverings are mandatory for all attendees except when eating or drinking. 

‘There is a path forward. We don’t know when, but we know how,’ said Ghaly.  

Disneyland in Anaheim before it shuttered in March seven months ago when the pandemic started ravaging America

Disneyland in Anaheim before it shuttered in March seven months ago when the pandemic started ravaging America

Iger resigned from Newsom’s COVID-19 economic task force this month amid tensions over the governor’s refusal to reopen theme parks and as Disney announced it was forced to lay off 28,000 employees including employees at Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. 

California employment data shows the theme park industry includes more than five dozen employers across the state and 10 of those companies employ 1,000 or more people.  

Disney was able to reopen its Florida parks four months back with safety measures in place but had to leave the California sites shuttered.

It has now seven months since they first closed back in March. 

Newsom has stayed firm on the matter saying ‘unequivocally, no’ when asked if he was feeling the pressure from businesses to reopen this month. 

‘We are not putting the health and safety of people visiting the state or recreating in the state at the parks at risk,’ he said. 

In the reopened Florida parks, Disney reached an agreement with its largest union the Service Trades Council Union to lay off 8,800 part-time cast members furloughed during the pandemic as the theme park struggled to draw in crowds after reopening. 

In the reopened Florida parks, Disney reached an agreement with its largest union the Service Trades Council Union to lay off 8,800 part-time cast members. Pictured Magic Kingdom in Florida

In the reopened Florida parks, Disney reached an agreement with its largest union the Service Trades Council Union to lay off 8,800 part-time cast members. Pictured Magic Kingdom in Florida

The once-packed theme park has struggled to draw crowds since re-opening amid the pandemic

The once-packed theme park has struggled to draw crowds since re-opening amid the pandemic

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