CALIFORNIA ISSUES REOPENING GUIDELINES FOR THEME PARKS
Knott's Berry Farm will have to wait longer to reopen under state guidance
Buena Park, Calif. - Knott's Berry Farm closed on March 14, 2020 due to the pandemic. More than 7 months later, Knott's Berry Farm will have to wait longer to reopen under guidance released by the state on Tuesday.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly outlined the state's reopening update on small and large theme parks during a virtual press conference. Knott's Berry Farm is considered a large theme park under the guidelines.
Theme park reopening guidelines include:
- Smaller theme parks may resume operations in tier 3 (limited capacity at 25% or 500 people)
- All theme parks may resume operations in tier 4 at 25% capacity.
- All theme parks must implement a reservation system and screen guests for symptoms in advance. Face coverings mandatory throughout the park, except while eating or drinking.
- Only residents of the same county as the theme park will be permitted.
Currently, Orange County is in tier 2, with 4.6 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100k residents, and 3.2% positivity rate (5.6% health equity quartile positivity rate). In order for Orange County to fall under tier 4, and Knott's Berry Farm to be able to reopen at 25% capacity, Orange County needs to enter tier 4 with less than 1 new daily COVID-19 case per 100k residents, and less than 2% positivity rate and less than 2.2% health equity rate.
"I was relieved to hear that the governor addressed theme parks, however was disappointed by the guidelines," stated Mayor Fred Smith.
"These guidelines not only affect Knott's Berry Farm, but also all of our small businesses that make up Buena Park's economy and depend on park visitors. I feel confident that Knott's Berry Farm can responsibly reopen in tier 3 with appropriate modifications while still maintaining the safety and health of our residents, and hope the state reconsiders", Smith added.
Orange County and Buena Park are in this together. Residents can do their part to help bring these rates down - wear a mask in public, wash your hands regularly, keep at least six feet physical distance when in public, limit gathering with people you don't live with, and get tested. Buena Park's goal is to reopen safely, but it has to be done together.