LOS ANGELES - As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the nation, theme park officials say it’s time to reopen.
Two Southern California assembly members are co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to make it happen.
AB 420, authored by Sharon Quirk-Silva (D - Fullerton) and Suzette Valladares (R - Santa Clarita) would assist in the safe reopening of large theme parks in California. That includes Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm and Universal Studios.
The bill would alter California’s blueprint of a safer economy by moving theme parks from the state’s yellow tier to the orange tier.
The yellow tier is the least restrictive on businesses and that's where large theme parks currently reside.
By moving theme parks to the orange tier it would allow them to open sooner.
"What this bill intends to do is to move them into a tier that gives them an actual pathway to open safely, to serve our public and really to do what other states have been doing for months now," said co-author of the bill, Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares.
She says theme parks in Texas and Florida have been open for months and no case of COVID-19 has been traced back to the parks.
The bill has been in the works for some time and the two lawmakers are working with Gov. Newsom’s office.
"This is a bipartisan issue. The way COVID-19 impacts our communities and businesses is nonpartisan. We think that there is an opportunity with vaccines being widely distributed, with cases declining, with our ICU capacity increasing that there is a pathway and timeline," she added. "We see this as an opportunity to move forward."
Now, more than ever, we need to strengthen our resolve to care for each other and to create clear and proper tiers to ensure the safety and health of our community and businesses," said Committee Chair, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva.
Smaller theme parks and zoos in California have reopened and Valladares says this should serve as an example for the bigger parks.
When parks reopen safety guidelines will be in place. Face masks will be required, temperature checks will be given and hand sanitizing stations will be placed around the area. Theme parks will also have to limit their capacity.