U.S. Disney Parks Have 'Stringent' Sanitation Procedures in Place Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Disney attractions in the U.S. have implemented ‘stringent’ sanitation precautionary procedures in the wake of the almost worldwide novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
On Tuesday, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and other popular tourist destinations across Florida were open. Disney’s California parks also remain open.
A spokesperson for Disney tells PEOPLE the company is monitoring the situation.
“We know there is new information this week about Coronavirus in Florida,” the spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.
“We have very stringent sanitation procedures in place at Walt Disney World Resort. We are in close contact with health agencies for information and guidance, and at this time, we are continuing to communicate to our Cast the importance of preventative measures such as frequent handwashing and rigorous cleaning processes.
“For guest convenience, we have placed additional hand sanitizers throughout our parks and resorts and will adjust our protocols as the situation warrants.”
Parks in Asia, where the outbreak is more widespread, have closed. Disney’s Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo parks were the first to close their gates. The Hong Kong and Shanghai locations are closed indefinitely, while Tokyo Disneyland plans to reopen on March 16.
Other major theme parks in Florida are also monitoring the situation carefully. A representative for Universal Orlando Resort confirmed with PEOPLE the steps they are taking in the midst of the outbreak.
“We are in contact with health officials and others in our industry and we are closely monitoring the situation. We are communicating with our team members and reinforcing our best-practice health and hygiene procedures. We are also educating them on basic preventive measures. We will continue to monitor the situation and be ready to act if needed.”
LEGOLAND in Winter Haven, FL, has been monitoring the situation, and currently does not plan to close its park.
“The health and safety of our guests and our staff is always our top priority and we will take all necessary precautions to ensure their continued welfare,” said Julie Estrada, spokesperson for Merlin Entertainments which operates LEGOLAND, in a statement to PEOPLE.
“We have restricted employee travel to higher risk countries, implemented enhanced cleaning regimes at our attractions, and informed our teams of coronavirus symptoms as well as the importance of good hygiene practices,” said Estrada.
“If a guest decides to cancel his/her visit while our resorts and attractions are still fully operational, all cancellations are subject to the standard terms and conditions,” said senior public relations manager Kelly Hornick, adding guests could contact the Vacations Call Center at 888-690-5346 with questions.
PEOPLE also reached out to Busch Gardens, located in Tampa Bay, but received no reply.
The CDC also says that the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful handwashing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.
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