As California moves past 930K positive coronavirus cases as of November 2, Gov. Gavin Newsom doubled down on his theme park guidelines, which ban larger parks from reopening until its respective county is within the “yellow” tier indicating minimal coronavirus risk.
However, on Monday, California city mayors sent a letter to Gov. Newsom telling him the strict rules for reopening would leave the parks closed for possibly “up to a year” and asked him to allow larger parks to reopen sooner, with coronavirus protection measures in place, Deadline reported.
“The guidelines put forth by your Administration were released within the framework of prioritizing public health and safety for guests and employees. This is the right focus. However, economic and public health are not mutually exclusive goals. We are concerned that the state’s guidelines would push re-opening of large theme parks up to a year out, which would have significant negative impacts on hundreds of thousands of jobs, thousands of small businesses, and billions in operating revenue for our cities,” the letter reportedly read.
The letter was signed by eight mayors of southern and central California cities, including Los Angeles and San Diego, which have the largest populations in the state.
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Both Los Angeles and Orange County, home to major theme parks Universal Studios and Disneyland respectively, are currently considered high risk for coronavirus spread.
Newsom defended his position, saying “we should be concerned about opening up large theme parks which, by definition, people mix from all possible walks of life and putting ourselves and others at risk of seeing transmission rates rise.”
However, theme parks have fought back stating they can reopen safely.
Erin Guerrero, Executive Director, California Attractions and Parks Association, called on Newsom to “share any data or science related to theme parks that they are using to inform their decision to keep the major theme parks closed indefinitely while allowing similar venues to reopen,” Deadline reported.
Ken Potrock, President of Disneyland Resort, also argued against the new guidelines, calling them “arbitrary” in a previous statement shared with FOX Business.
“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.”