CALIFORNIA, USA —
SAN DIEGO AMUSEMENT PARKS
Following a regional trend, the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park announced they would temporarily close to the public starting Monday due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The zoo -- one of San Diego's largest tourist attractions -- planned to reopen to the public April 1. All employees will be paid during the closure, zoo officials said in a statement.
"San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park are iconic destinations and we understand we play an important role in inspiring guests about the natural world, while also being a respite and escape for our audiences," said Paul A. Baribault, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. "However, at this time, it is vital for San Diego Zoo Global to be a leader for the community and for our employees, and ensure we are putting the health and well-being of our greater community first."
The zoo will remain open this weekend, and both locations have increased handwashing and sanitizing locations to prevent the spread of coronavirus, known as COVID-19. Large-capacity shows at both parks have been canceled and the number of passengers on the guided bus tour at the zoo and the Africa Tram at the safari park have been reduced to comply with social distancing advice.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego on Thursday announced that it will temporarily be closed to the public beginning Thursday, March 12 at 5 p.m. until further notice to slow and prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“It’s our responsibility to consider the health and wellbeing of our guests, staff, and volunteers, and the broader community. By temporarily closing our doors, we are doing our part to proactively take steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” said Executive Director Harry Helling.
Legoland on Friday in an abundance of caution announced it would be temporarily close its theme park, water park and SEA LIFE® aquarium.
The closures will be effective beginning Saturday, March 14 through March 31, 2020. LEGOLAND® Hotel will remain open during this time.
In a statement a Legoland spokesperson said:
"The health and safety of our guests and our staff is always our top priority and we are continuing to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the CDC guidelines. Employees will continue to work on site as scheduled."
For guests wanting more information, please check the Resort’s website at www.LEGOLAND.com/California.
SeaWorld San Diego will close through the end of March starting on March 16, 2020. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will continue to pay their full-time Ambassadors during this period.
The USS Midway Museum will temporarily close beginning Monday, March 16. The Museum gave no update on when they expect to reopen.
LOS ANGELES AMUSEMENT PARKS
With concern over the coronavirus continuing to spike, Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood also announced Thursday they will close to the public on Saturday.
The theme parks had been temporarily exempted under new state guidelines barring public gatherings of 250 or more people announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Disney officials said Disneyland and California Adventure Park will remain closed through the end of the month. Universal Studios tentatively plans to reopen March 28.
"While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of (Newsom's) executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month," Disneyland announced in a statement.
The theme park's hotels will remain open until Monday so guests can have time to make travel arrangements. Downtown Disney will remain open. Disneyland's employees will continue to get paid during the furlough.
The theme park says it will "work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period."
Guests can get questions answered or reservations canceled by calling 714-520-5050.
Newsom praised Disneyland for making "the right call in the interest of public health."
The governor added, "Expect more announcements like this shortly."
Universal Studios officials said the park's closure is being done "out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health."
Universal CityWalk will remain open.
Although park officials said they hope to reopen March 28, officials will "continue to monitor the situation."
People with questions about Universal tickets were urged to call 800-864-8377, and use option 9.
On Friday, Knott’s Berry Farm announced it will close temporarily beginning Saturday March 14, 2020 through the end of the month. However, the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel will remain open. They say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at their properties.
Newsom said earlier Thursday he opted not to include the venues in his 250-person-gathering ban due to the "complexity of their unique circumstances," but discussions were ongoing. Casinos, card rooms and theaters were also exempted.
"I had a conversation with (Disney Executive Chairman) Bob Iger yesterday," Newsom said. "We've been meeting with our partners in our tribal nations. We've been meeting with leaders of those respective industries. The complexity of their unique circumstance requires additional conversation, different kind of engagement, and in real time, we're in those conversations and engagement.
"The reason we didn't do it is because of the complexity of their unique circumstances, but I assure you, we are moving quickly and effectively toward a resolution in those spaces."
Newsom said officials from the various types of venues raised "legitimate concerns" that prompted him to exempt them from his public- gathering ban.
Six Flags Magic Mountain also announced a temporary closure of the park. They say the park will re-evaluate the situation at the end of March.