The Governor’s Report To Re-Open Florida Is Now Available Online- See What It Says About the Theme Parks
As we reported yesterday here at MickeyBlog, Governor Ron DeSantis shared his plan regarding a slow re-opening of the state of Florida. The plan outlines the stages whereby local business from restaurants and salons to stadiums and theme parks can open. The Governor after setting up a meeting with President Trump on Tuesday has said that he hopes to start re-opening the state as early as next week.
The report was officially released to the public this evening (Thursday) and you can read the entire report here:Taskforce-Report.
As the Orlando Sentinel tells us, DeSantis has said that Florida would enter Phase 1 starting on Monday, May 4, 2020. So what does this mean for Walt Disney World? Not much really. According to the Plan, the guidelines for theme parks in Phase 1 is not to re-open. (See below)
As you can see above, while the state stays in Stage 1, it still means that things will remain shuttered at the theme parks. However, Phase 2 may present a slightly different story.
According to the report, the state will only shift from Phase 1 to Phase 2 if fewer new cases of COVID-19 are reported and when there is ample capacity at the hospitals should a sudden uptake in cases occur. According to the piece in the Orlando Sentinel, it also requires enough personal protective equipment at hospitals and other healthcare facilities making contact tracing more effective. If the government feels satisfied that this is happening, the report states, “If the state shows consistent success, these guidelines contemplate advancement to the next phase.” However, the converse is also true. “If, however, COVID-19 data suggests increased spread, the state should remain in the current phase.”
Yet it should be noted that there are no actual benchmarks in the report for the level of new cases or how exact outcomes will be measured in advancing to the next stage.
During Phase 2, restaurants can re-open with the stipulation that they operate at 75% capacity and bars and nightclubs at 50% capacity. However, safety protocols must be followed including tables being 6 feet apart and tables restricted to 10 or fewer guests. In Phase 2, Gyms can also reopen at 75% capacity, state parks can be opened for daytime use and beaches can be fully opened.
Other businesses that could re-open under Phase 2, include beauty parlors, barbershops and nail salons at 50% capacity with the stipulation that employees wear face masks and sanitize all of the equipment between each use. Retail businesses can operate at 50% if customers are directed to follow social distancing guidelines.
So this is the stage at which we might see Disney Springs restaurants and retail outlets slowly come to life. But what about the theme parks? Let’s take a look at what the report says:
As you can see under the Phase 2 guidelines, theme parks are simply instructed to “CONSIDER” opening with capacity limits, strict social distancing and measures put in place to clean and disinfect.
That means that deciding to open in Phase 2 would totally be Disney’s call.
Again, in order to shift from Phase 2 to Phase 3, all of the Governor’s criteria that we went over for Phase 1 and Phase 2 would need to be met with a demonstrated decrease in active cases and an increased ability for the health system to support new cases.
Under Phase 3, most business would be able to operate at full capacity with social distancing guidelines still being imposed for some. This includes theme parks and sporting venues. The phase also allows for the return of non-essential travel, re-opening of state parks and a return to regular operations for vacation rental properties.
Here’s a look at what it says about theme parks in the report.
The Report, which you can again read in its entirety here- Taskforce-Report follows guidelines set out by the CDC as directed by the White House. However, it should be noted that DeSantis does veer slightly from White House guidelines. For instance, under a Phase 1 opening, the White House says restaurants can return to 50% capacity but DeSantis has restricted this to 25%.
As the Orlando Sentinel piece points out, in order to move from the phases in the re-opening plan, Florida needs to drastically increase the number of daily tests it conducts. The report lays out the following benchmarks:
- 30,000 tests per day by May 15th
- 40,000 tests per day by June 15th
So What Does All of This Mean For Walt Disney World?
It means that we are still playing a waiting game while the state prepares for Phase 1. At this point, the theme parks will remain shuttered with local restaurants, bars and retail outlets slowly re-opening. It is in Phase 2, where we may see movement with Disney being given the go-ahead to re-open- IF THEY CHOOSE TO DO SO.
It should also be remembered that moving between phases is only possible if there is a decrease in cases, an increase in testing and in contact tracing. Should there be a resurgence in cases or a lack of adequate testing, the entire process could be reset.
That’s why, as we’ve previously pointed out here at MickeyBlog, advising on an opening date would be pure speculation. However, once we hear anything definite from Disney we will let you know so keep following along!
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Source: Orlando Sentinel