Universal Studios Hollywood could reopen by July 1, park's president says
The head of Universal Studios Hollywood told officials in Los Angles County Tuesday that the theme park could reopen by July 1 and asked for workers to be allowed to return.
The park has been closed since March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and wasn't expected to reopen before June. Universal Orlando in Florida is set to reopen to the public on Friday.
Los Angeles County has moved into the first steps of Stage 3 of California's reopening plan, which includes entertainment venues.
Karen Irwin, president and operating chief of Universal Studios Hollywood, told the county's Economic Resiliency Task Force Tuesday that the park would be able to maintain physical distancing, screen visitors and employees and perform enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.
Irwin didn't provide a detailed plan for the park's reopening, nor did Universal when reached.
Other theme parks, including Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World (reopening July 11), will check visitors' and employees' temperature on entry and require them to wear face coverings inside the park.
Social distancing markers and signs are to be placed throughout both Florida parks. Visitors and employees will have more opportunities to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands. Use of contactless forms of payment will be encouraged. Groups will be kept separate on rides, and high-contact attractions will remain closed.
Disneyland in California remains closed.
Irwin said Tuesday that Universal Hollywood's attendance from foreign and out-of-state visitors was not likely to rebound to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. She noted that California residents have other places to go, with Las Vegas and Arizona reopening.
"We should provide local options," she said.