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SeaWorld announces June 11 reopening date

7 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago Wednesday, May 27 2020 May 27, 2020 May 27, 2020 10:09 AM May 27, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: Sea World/Instagram

ORLANDO, Florida - During a Wednesday morning meeting, SeaWorld executives announced the company's plan to reopen on June 11.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, SeaWorld's anticipated June 11 reopening will include all of its three Orlando parks, including Discovery Cove and Aquatica.

Interim CEO Marc Swanson presented the company's plan to the Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida, as both SeaWorld and Walt Disney World were scheduled to present their strategies to the panel of business and community leaders appointed by Mayor Jerry Demings.

Swanson said masks will be required for all employees and guests age 2 and older. Temperature screenings will also be required, and capacity in pools and rivers would be limited. Also, hand sanitizer would be available at entrances and exits of each ride.

Disney World later announced that it planned to reopen in mid-July.

The parks have been closed for an unprecedented 10-week shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Orlando, the nation’s tourism capital.

Before opening to the public, Swanson said SeaWorld’s parks would first reopen for to employees for a special appreciation night on June 10.

On Tuesday, Mayor Demings said he'd already previewed the plans and liked what he saw.

If he endorses Disney and SeaWorld’s proposals, he will forward them to Gov. Ron DeSantis for final approval.

Last week DeSantis approved Universal’s plan to reopen to the public on June 5 within hours after Demings gave it a thumbs-up.

The government sign-off on activities by the big theme parks, particularly Disney, is highly unusual for Florida, which typically takes a more hands-off approach in regulating the tourism giants.

Disney is the region’s largest employer and the company’s self-initiated shutdown on March 16 left tens of thousands out of work. Unemployment in Osceola County is the highest in the state at 20.3%, while 16.5% of workers in Orange County are without jobs.

The decision to close, which was followed by Universal, SeaWorld and smaller attractions, is credited with helping to slow the transmission of the virus.

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