Disney’s theme park in mainland China is back open for business, with two major “new normal” Covidbusting measures which may well be copied closer to home. Will UK operators be ordering a Chinese takeaway this summer?
With this month marking the re-opening of Disneyland in Shanghai, China, attractions operators around the world will be taking a deep-dive into two of the new anti-Covid measures which the park has put in place: in an attempt to better understand how parks within the western hemisphere might welcome back their own visitors.
The first change that guests have encountered at the Chinese park takes place before they even step foot into the park itself – with temperature checks now a mandatory condition of entry at Disneyland Shanghai. Those with a fever will not be permitted to enter – although critics have pointed out that most of those with an abnormally high temperature will likely not be suffering from Covid-19, and an as yet indeterminate ratio of people without an abnormally high temperature could be asymptomatic carriers. Still, as parks media specialist Blooploop determined, the pros of temperature checks outweighed the cons, and that they will “reduce the possibility of infection by a good margin.”
The second major alteration, for western visitors at least, has been the mandatory wearing of face-masks: another non-negotiable condition of entry in Shanghai. The wearing of facemasks whilst out in public is already common in many Asian countries, but analysts are skeptical as to whether UK and US amusement seekers will be as quick to adopt face-coverings at theme parks.
Whilst it has been determined that Covid-19 is spread primarily through droplets from the mouth and nose, the clinical effectiveness of non-surgical grade masks – especially those in use outside – is debatable when it comes to the prevention of the virus’ spread.
In addition, restrictions to breathing (especially if a mask is wet), not to mention the impartibility of wearing a mask whilst eating, drinking, or riding a roller-coaster, are all additional constrains on mandatory mask-use – leading many conclude that parks should “allow masks, but possibly not require them.”