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Disney chairman resigns from Gavin Newsom’s economic task force

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The Walt Disney Company executive chairman Bob Iger has resigned from Governor Gavin Newsom’s economic task force amid growing tensions around reopening theme parks in California.

“We very much appreciate Mr Iger’s service on the task force and respect his decision to resign,” said the governor’s chief of staff, Ann O’Leary (via Los Angeles Times).

California plans to issue reopening guidelines this week that will allow Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other theme parks in the state to reopen after months of coronavirus closures, according to state officials (via The OCR).

Theme park reopening guidelines will be issued by the California Department of Public Health, said California Health and Human Services spokesperson Rodger Butler.

California issuing reopening guidelines soon

“Theme park guidance is expected to come from CDPH this week,” said Butler. “Theme parks will be incorporated into the Blueprint for a Safer Economy similar to other sectors.”

However, the California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) has asked state officials to listen to theme park operators’ recommendations and modify some of the protocols before issuing reopening guidelines.

“We ask the governor not to finalize guidance for amusement parks before engaging the industry in a more earnest manner, listening to park operators’ expertise and collaborating with the industry on a plan that will allow for amusement parks to reopen responsibly while still keeping the health and safety of park employees and guests a top priority,” said CAPA executive director Erin Guerrero.

CAPA asks governor not to finalize guidance

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, has also called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to reopen Disneyland.

Newsom recently said an announcement is coming “very, very shortly”, which came after CAPA urged Newsom to issue guidelines that would allow theme parks to reopen in California.

“Today, California amusement park leaders who have been working for months to prepare to reopen responsibly saw an initial draft of state guidance and blueprint placement for California’s amusement parks,” said Guerrero (via The OCR).

“While we are aligned on many of the protocols and health and safety requirements, there are many others that need to be modified if they are to lead to a responsible and reasonable amusement park reopening plan.”

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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