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Disneyland in California to reopen April 30

In this file photo Visitors and staff wearing protective face masks, walk down the Main Street of Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee, near Paris.-AFP

Disneyland will reopen April 30 after more than a year of closure as the COVID-19 pandemic eases its grip on California, the company announced Wednesday. Disneyland Park-the world’s second-most visited theme park-and neighboring Disney California Adventure Park will allow visitors at “significantly limited” capacity. “The day all of us have long been waiting for is almost here,” said Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock in a statement.

“We’re excited to have more than 10,000 cast members returning to work as we get ready to welcome our guests back to this happy place.” Members of the local community will be the first guests allowed back to Disneyland, before opening to all California residents with advance reservations, and face coverings will be mandatory, the statement added. California suffered a severe winter COVID-19 outbreak, but case numbers have plummeted in recent weeks, as a vaccination rollout gathers pace.

The mega-attraction near Los Angeles was unable to reopen last summer even while other Disney resorts did so worldwide-the result of a highly public row with California officials and unions. Disney partly blamed California restrictions for 32,000 job losses last year, and has ramped up pressure on Governor Gavin Newsom, who is facing a recall campaign over his handling of the pandemic.

Earlier this month California relaxed reopening rules to permit theme parks to reopen April 1, but CEO Bob Chapek said it would take a few extra weeks to prepare staff to reopen with pandemic safety measures. At least one on-site hotel plans to reopen a day earlier, on April 29. Last week, Disneyland Paris said it will not be able to reopen as planned on April 2 because of France’s COVID-19 crisis. – AFP


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