California Governor Gavin Newsom had more bad news for Disneyland and other parks in the state, saying the state is “in no hurry” to put out guidelines for how they will eventually operate safely.
Last month Newsom had said the guidelines would be issued “very, very shortly.”
But “we don’t anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger theme parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data,” Newsom said at a news conference Wednesday.
“We’re going to let science and data make that determination,” Newsom said. “We’re going to be led by a health-first framework, and we’re going to be stubborn about it.”
Disney’s parks closed last spring as the pandemic started spreading in the US.
The Florida parks reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits guidance from the state of California.
Disney officials announced last week that it was laying off 28,000 workers because of the coronavirus pandemic. Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involved part-time workers and they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers.
In a letter to employees, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Product, said California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen” exacerbated the situation for the company.
D’Amaro said his management team had worked hard to try to avoid layoffs. They had cut expenses, suspended projects and modified operations but it wasn’t enough given limits on the number of people allowed into the park because of social distancing restrictions and other pandemic-related measures, he said.
Disney has soared to success with the breadth of its media and entertainment offerings, but is now trying to recover after the coronavirus pandemic pummelled many of its businesses.
It was hit by several months of its parks and stores being closed, cruise ships idled, movie releases postponed and a halt in film and video production.