Disney has delayed the reopening of its Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks in Anaheim beyond the planned July 17 date. It comes as COVID-19 cases continue rising in the state of California. Disney said in a statement Wednesday that despite developing health and safety protocols similar to those accepted at its resorts in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Walt Disney World in Florida, California has not given its approval.
California will provide reopening guidelines for theme parks after July 4, Disney said, adding its tentative July 17 reopening date will be too soon after that.
"We have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials," Disney Parks tweeted. "Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date."
Disney Parks didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
Disneyland had announced two weeks ago that it would reopen on July 17, the park's 65th anniversary. The theme park closed on March 15 due to the spread of the coronavirus. The phased reopening was planned to begin with the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district on July 9, followed by both theme parks -- Disneyland and California Adventure -- on July 17 and then the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Paradise Pier Hotel on July 23.
The Downtown Disney shopping and dining area will still reopen on July 9 in line with California's restaurant and retail opening guidelines, Disney confirmed Wednesday. Disney said it has yet to negotiate agreements with its union to have cast members return to work in the theme parks.
The announcement of Disneyland's planned reopening came as a surprise, given California's state plan says the "highest risk" venues, like concert halls, convention centers, and sports arenas and stadiums, cannot reopen until "therapeutics have been developed."
Disneyland Shanghai reopened May 11, followed by Hong Kong Disneyland on June 18. Disney plans to reopen Tokyo Disney on July 1, Walt Disney World on July 11 and Disneyland Paris on July 15.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe. There are now over 9.4 million confirmed cases globally, with 2.4 million cases and over 121,000 deaths in the US, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. A vaccine may not arrive until 2021.
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