Coronavirus guidelines ask Disney, Universal and other California theme parks to verify visitors have been vaccinated once the state’s economy fully reopens on June 15 – but what is it mean and how are parks supposed to succeed in this massive endeavor?
Fully vaccinated Californians will no longer be required to wear masks at state theme parks on June 15, but people attending ‘mega-events’ must provide either proof of vaccination or a recent COVID-19 test negative.
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As it turns out, the new state requirements seem heavier than they actually are, both for theme parks and their unvaccinated visitors. But as has often been the case throughout the pandemic, the state’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines are complex and confusing.
The confusion begins with the definition of a “mega event” – the state’s new designation for large gathering places such as theme parks, sporting events, concerts, conventions, conferences, food festivals. , auto shows, marathons and parades. But not all mega-events are created equal.
Indoor mega events are “required” to confirm each participant’s immunization status, while outdoor mega events are “highly recommended” to verify that visitors have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus or have received a test Recent negative COVID-19.
California theme parks fall into the category of outdoor mega-events – which, according to state COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, should require, but not require, unvaccinated visitors to wear masks during their presence. The mega event’s vaccination and testing mandates run until October 1 and will be reassessed on September 1.
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What does all this mean for theme parks?
The state – through theme parks – requires unvaccinated visitors to voluntarily wear a mask in parks.
Theme parks are not required to verify proof of vaccination or collect the results of a COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours of the start of the event. Theme parks are also not required to ask visitors if they have been vaccinated or to wear face coverings for unvaccinated visitors.
How Will California Theme Parks Check Visitors’ Immunization Status?
Most California theme parks will post a statement on their websites or inside their parks about the state’s mask recommendation. Some will include the state’s reminder with ticket purchases and advance reservations.
Parks that still require masks after June 15 will cover all their bases – making sure unvaccinated visitors wear face covers alongside vaccinated guests.
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Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and California’s Great America currently require visitors to wear masks, but parks have not announced whether those policies will change on June 15 or how they will treat unvaccinated visitors.
Universal Studios Hollywood will follow state mask requirements as the park continues to refine its guidelines, Universal officials say. The latest updates on Universal’s mask policy are available on the park’s website.
Unvaccinated universal visitors are strongly recommended to wear a mask in accordance with state COVID-19 guidelines. Universal will post vaccination signs in the park and online notices, but will not verify proof of vaccination.
Knott’s Berry Farm will require unvaccinated visitors to self-certify vaccination status and wear masks in all indoor settings.
Visitors to SeaWorld San Diego will no longer be required to wear masks starting June 15 – with one exception. SeaWorld will remind visitors of the state’s vaccination and mask recommendations, but will not require proof of vaccination as of June 15.
Legoland California will continue to encourage the use of masks and physical distancing after June 15. Unvaccinated visitors are strongly recommended to follow state mask guidelines and will need to agree to these terms when purchasing tickets and making advance reservations on the Legoland website.