SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As California enters Phase 2 of reopening its economy, San Diego theme parks are planning for changes park guests will see when it comes time to reopen.
The safety plan, developed by the San Diego Tourism Authority and epidemiologists, addresses new protocols for San Diego attractions, including SeaWorld, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, and the USS Midway. The parks have been closed since March due to the coronavirus.
Officials caution that the protocols outlined in the plan could be adjusted based on guidance from the government and CDC.
It's still unclear if California's theme parks and attractions will be included under its phase three or four stages of reopening.
Under the plan, all guests and employees will be required to wear facial coverings to enter. Employees would be screened daily using contactless IR thermometers prior to the start of their shift.
Security pre-screening would have guests opening their own bags for inspection to minimize contact and inspection tables will be spaced six feet apart.
To assist in distancing, parks would place a daily cap on guest capacity. Distancing will also be implemented through a modified ride loading plan and building capacities in parks.
Activities like park entry, restrooms when possible, and hand wash stations will have some sort of six-foot distancing policy.
Character meet and greets at parks will be modified to maintain distance between guests and the characters, the plan adds. Photo opportunities would also be modified to also meet the distance mandate.
Hand sanitizer stations will be added to ticket booth, park entry, and ride locations, according to the plan. Extra hand-washing stations will also be added around parks.
In areas where transactions happen, contactless payment options will be installed.
"Enhanced cleaning measures" will be used to sanitze resort and hotel areas at parks, food and dining areas, and spots with regular hand contact.
Ride vehicles and touch points on rides will be sanitized regularly, the plan says. Hand sanitizer will also be made available for guests at every ride.
To distance riders, riders would queued into family groups only and staggered seating would be used on each ride.
Employees will monitor and sanitize restrooms, and where possible, bathrooms will be modified to allow for distancing.
Work and break areas will be disinfected frequently and changed to abide by distancing measures.
All employees will have to go through mandatory safety training as well. Those employees who can work from home will still be encouraged to do so.
Food and drinks
Parks will use contactless or single-use menus, premade or prepackaged food and snacks, and a safe delivery method for orders to minimize direct contact.
Condiment stations will be closed to limit more common guest touchpoints and restaurant seating will be changed to maintain six-foot distancing, the plan says.
Much like grocery stores, Plexi-glass shields will be installed at cashiering or food stations.
Guest flow will be managed using single-direction foot traffic on any narrow paths, the plan states.
Each park's safety guidance will be posted for guests to see and distancing markers will be placed to indicate distancing for guests.
Signs in the parks' parking lots, near attractions, and guest areas will reinforce the safety measures.
For water parks
Water parks will limit capacities to maintain distancing rules, under the plan.
Locker rooms and changing rooms will also use a one-way access system, according to the plan. Restrooms will also limit capacity, where possible.
This article was written by Mark Saunders for KGTV.