Thousands Sign Petition to Extend Disney World Closure
Amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases in Florida, over 7,000 individuals have signed a petition urging officials and Disney to consider delaying the reopening of Disney World next month, according to CNBC.
“This virus is not gone, unfortunately it’s only become worse in this state,” the petition, which was posted on MoveOn.org on Sunday says. “Having our theme parks remain closed until cases are steadily decreasing would keep our guests, our employees and their families safe. Re-opening the theme parks is only putting our guests, employees, and families at higher risk for contracting COVID-19.”
The Florida Department of Health reported 5,508 new cases as of this morning. Florida's confirmed number of coronavirus cases is now at 109,014. So far, no employee unions have announced support of the petition or if Walt Disney employees have supported the effort.
Disney's theme parks have around 70,000 employees and are planning a phased reopening beginning on July 11. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will open first, followed by Hollywood Studios and Epcot on July 15.
Disney rival Universal Studios in Orlando has already reopened its parks. Disney has reopened its parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong and has dates for Paris and Japan. The company has announced a phased opening that will incorporate new measures such as required face coverings, social distancing guidelines, and increased sanitation stations.
“While theme parks are a great way to relax and enjoy free time, it is a non-essential business; it is not fair to the people who work there to risk their lives, especially if they are at risk or have family members who are at risk,” the petition says. “People are more important than making a profit.”