Walt Disney World reopens amid Covid-19 surge

Walt Disney World reopens amid Covid-19 surge

Disney World has reopened in Florida after being shut down for almost four months during the coronavirus pandemic.

The site's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened on Saturday.

Epcot and Hollywood Studios will open on July 15. Before entering the parks, visitors and employees will have their temperature checked. And while there's no telling when the effects of COVID-19 will subside, there are some changes happening now in response to the pandemic that could stick around for the foreseeable future.

On Friday, one day before the reopening, Florida reported 11,433 new cases of COVID-19 and 435 more hospitalizations, which marks the state's largest single-day rise in hospitalizations.

In Orange County, where the resort is based, authorities have reported 16,630 cases - some of the highest numbers in the state. Disney World's competitor, Universal Orlando (UVV), reopened in June with enhanced safety protocols.

"Our deliberate and phased approach at Walt Disney World Resort emphasizes multiple layers of health and safety measures", Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a statement.

Disney has also resumed limited operations at its four parks in Asia, and at Disney Springs - an outdoor shopping mall in Orlando - since reporting a $1.4bn (£1.1bn) hit to profits in the first three months of the year.

Disney is confident they can operate their parks safely.

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