Coronavirus: Six Flags reopening parks for 2021 season, hiring thousands

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. intends to open all 26 of its amusement and water parks for the 2021 season and hire thousands to operate its rides, restaurants and other attractions at its facilities across the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The announcement includes reopening five parks that were unable to operate at all in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic restrictions and laid out more stringent guidelines for guests and park staff, CNN reported.

The company worked with public health experts to develop a reopening plan that “meets or exceeds federal, state and local guidelines for sanitization, hygiene and social distancing protocols,” the network reported.

According to the company’s website, Six Flags will limit attendance at its parks; guests must make reservations; and masks and temperature checks will be required of all staff and guests.

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In addition, the company stated it is also taking steps to encourage social distancing on rides, in lines, in seating areas and in other areas around the park, CNN reported.

“Our guests and team members are ready for the return of fun and signature Six Flags thrills in 2021,” Bonnie Weber, senior vice president of park operations, said a news release. “Last year, we set the standard for operating our parks safely, and entertained millions of guests in adherence to government and CDC health guidelines at 21 of our 26 parks. We offered a local and outdoor entertainment venue spanning dozens to hundreds of acres where families and friends could safely spend time together.”

According to CNN, only 4.6 million people visited the parks in the first nine months of 2020, representing an 83% decrease from the 26.7 million who attended over the same period in 2019.

Weber also stated that the company is working with state and local officials to set firm reopening dates for its parks in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mexico City and Canada.

The Los Angeles Times confirmed Sunday that Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, intends to reopen in spring, but a date has not been announced and government-issued COVID-19 restrictions could impact plans.

Six Flags Over Texas in Dallas-Fort Worth and Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio had already opened to guests on weekends in February, but the winter storm that ravaged the state this past week forced the parks’ closures Saturday and Sunday, CNN reported.

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