Visitors walk past the closed entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood theme park on June 28, 2020. Parks and stadiums in California will begin to reopen under coronavirus guidelines on Thursday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
April 1 (UPI) -- After remaining closed for more than a year, theme parks and stadiums in California are allowed to begin reopening Thursday, with restrictions, under state COVID-19 guidelines.
The parks and stadiums were closed in March 2020, but can reopen Thursday to California residents as long as the counties in which they are located are classified high enough in the state's risk category.
Six Flags Magic Mountain was set to reopen Thursday while Legoland California Resort will start hosting "preview days" on Thursday on its way to an official opening April 15. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will also open Thursday.
Universal Studios Hollywood is scheduled open April 16, while Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim will start accepting guests on April 30.
To comply with California rules, the theme parks will be allowed to open at between 15% and 35% capacity, depending on where their county falls under the state's four-tier reopening plan. No out-of-state visitors will be admitted.
"Parks now have a framework to safely and responsibly reopen," Erin Guerrero, executive director of the California Attractions and Parks Association, said in a report by USA Today.
"We appreciate the administration's willingness to work with the state's theme on the finer details of the plan so parks can responsibly reopen soon, putting people safely back to work and reinvigorating local economies."
Indoor eating facilities at theme parks will be limited to 50% capacity in some locations and 25% in others. Eating while standing in line will be banned.
The parks can have live outdoor performances, but Disneyland said it will not have its regular nighttime parades for a while.
Six feet of social distancing will be required at all parks, which will affect seating on rides, as well as masks for all visitors. State guidelines say rides can be shut down if they aren't conducive to riders wearing masks.
"California amusement parks prioritize health and safety, and we have worked collaboratively with state leaders and health officials at the state and local levels to develop guidelines that will protect employees and guests," Kris Reyes, chair of the California Attraction and Parks Association chair, said in a statement.
Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium in Southern California and Oracle Park (San Francisco) and RingCentral Coliseum (Oakland) will also be allowed to open to limited capacity on Thursday, in time for the new Major League Baseball season.
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo