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Universal Orlando to submit reopening plan to task force

Universal extends closure at all four theme parks as coronavirus continues to affect American attractions

Universal Orlando is set to submit its reopening plan to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Universal Orlando Resort will be the first major theme park to present to the task force on Thursday (May 21), a spokesperson for Orange County confirmed to FOX Business.

Disney and SeaWorld will present their plans “on another date”, the spokesperson said.

“Theme parks (big and small) need county leadership’s endorsement before being submitted to Governor DeSantis’s office to be considered for reopening,” they added.

Disney and SeaWorld to submit reopening plans

Universal Volcano Bay

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings also said he met with Universal executives to review the preliminary plans (via Spectrum News 13).

He said: “The underlying issue I’m looking for in those plans is, how do they keep both their employees and their guests safe?

“They have one opportunity to reopen, and they want to get it right the first time.”

Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the next steps in the state’s reopening plan, and asked theme parks to submit reopening plans.

How will parks keep employees and guests safe?

universal orlando christmas holidays

DeSantis said theme parks should identify a reopening date and provide information on how they’ll protect staff and visitors from coronavirus.

Demings will need to endorse any plans before sending them to DeSantis.

“Parks can submit reopening plans to the state,” said DeSantis. “They should identify the date certain that they believe that they could resume safe operations.”

During conference calls with the task force, Universal Orlando CEO John Sprouls previously outlined several ideas for how the resort’s theme parks could reopen safely.

CityWalk has reopened at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort partially reopened last week, welcoming guests once again to the CityWalk shopping centre on May 14.

CityWalk safety measures include mandatory face masks and temperature checks for guests and staff, as well as social distancing.

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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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