Florida's governor said that tomorrow he will announce his plan for reopening the state's economy, while today community leaders in Orange County worked through proposals for new rules governing businesses in the nation's theme park capital.
Local developer Chuck Whittall, who co-chairs a working group of Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, detailed the proposals, which would require the use of face masks by employees and the widespread deployment of hand sanitizer.
Theme parks specifically would be required to have all employees wearing face masks and to offer touchless dispensers for hand sanitizer at the park's entrance as well as at the entrances and exits to all attractions. Parks would have to mark six-foot social distancing boundaries in queues, and employees would have to wipe down railings and other surfaces "regularly." Admissions would be limited to 50 percent of park capacity in a first phase of reopening and 75 percent in a second.
Employees would be subject to temperature checks to work, with those testing 100.4 degrees or above sent home. Park employees ages 65 and older would be encouraged to work from home, as would be the case in all business sectors.
Theme parks' restaurants and hotels presumably also would need to comply with new restrictions for those businesses, including the placement of hand sanitizer at all tables. Non-automatic doors would have to be kept open or staffed by an employee so that patrons would not have to touch them.
Hotels would be encouraged to require mobile check-in by guests, and front desks would have to be equipped with "sneeze guard" panels. Hotels would be required to remove coffee makers, mugs, and glasses from guest rooms and to quit stocking minibars. There would be no guest collateral, such as shampoo and body wash, offered in rooms except for single-use items.
You can watch a replay of the meeting here:
These proposals are suggestions at this point, although task force members expect to have a formal set of recommendations by week's end. Orange Country Mayor Jerry Demings would issue any local restrictions at some point after Governor Ron DeSantis makes his announcement.
Of course, Disney and Universal will be free to implement any additional restrictions beyond those mandated by the state or county. I have been told that Walt Disney World already has prepared to mandate the use of mobile check-in at its hotels when the resort reopens. Some of the proposed operational changes included in Universal Orlando's recent guest survey go beyond the ones detailed today.
Ultimately, restrictions on park capacities and social distancing rules might not end up being relevant if large numbers of tourists do not start coming back to the Orlando area once the parks reopen. For that to happen, people will need to have the money and confidence to travel again.
Will these plans be enough to help them feel that confidence?Tweet
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