Disneyland and other California theme parks just returned to full capacity – here’s what is changing

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LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Pedestrians walk near the entrance to Disneyland Resort on February 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California. With the worsening economy, declining attendance and reduced operating income, the Walt Disney Company announced that it plans to restructure its domestic theme-park operations, which will result in the layoff an unspecified number of employees in the coming weeks. Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will reportedly be consolidated into a single unit headed by Worldwide Operations President Al Weiss. Attendance at Disney theme parks in the US dropped 5 percent in the last quarter of 2008 compared to the previous year and in January, Disney offered buyout packages to 600 US executives.

  • California theme parks, sporting events, and concerts returned to 100% capacity on Tuesday.
  • The state health department added some regulations on vaccinations records and masking for theme parks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, returned to full capacity on Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the parks could return to full capacity in May as a part of his Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The previous 15% to 35% capacity limits lifted at the same time that the entire state fully reopened.

The parks will also no longer be required to maintain physical-distancing requirements on the sites.

The California Health Department added special regulations for venues such as theme parks, concerts, and sports arenas that could be classified as “mega-events” – indoor events with more than 5,000 people, and outdoor ones with over 10,000. The venues are required to provide masks for all customers, though attendees will not be required to wear them if they have been fully vaccinated.

Customers planning on attending indoor venues must either be able to verify that they are fully vaccinated or take a COVID-19 test with a negative result 72 hours prior to entering the venue. They are expected to bring their test results or send them prior to arriving at the event.

For outdoor events, the agency recommends that the venues require a vaccination record or COVID-19 test, but will not enforce it. If an individual at an outdoor event cannot verify that they have been vaccinated, it is recommended that the venue asks the individual to wear a mask.

The California Health Department said the new mandates will run through October 1, but will be reassessed on September 1.

Disneyland reopened for the first time since the pandemic started on April 30 at 25% capacity. Since then, fans have flocked to the theme park.

Fully reopening the park will allow Disney to begin recouping from the impact of the pandemic on one of its biggest revenue streams. Last year, the media giant lost nearly $5 billion due to park closures.

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Disneyland and other California theme parks will return to full capacity in June – here’s what is changing

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  • On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced California would fully reopen on June 15.
  • Theme parks, sporting events, and concerts will be able to return to 100% capacity.
  • The state health department added some regulations on vaccinations records and masking for theme parks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, will return to full capacity on June 15.

The announcement was made on Friday as a part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The current 15% to 35% capacity limits will lift at the same time that the entire state fully reopens.

The parks will also no longer be required to maintain physical-distancing requirements on the sites.

The California Health Department added special regulations for venues such as theme parks, concerts, and sports arenas that could be classified as “mega-events” – indoor events with more than 5,000 people, and outdoor ones with over 10,000. The venues are required to provide masks for all customers, though attendees will not be required to wear them if they have been fully vaccinated.

Customers planning on attending indoor venues must either be able to verify that they are fully vaccinated or take a COVID-19 test with a negative result 72 hours prior to entering the venue. They are expected to bring their test results or send them prior to arriving at the event.

For outdoor events, the agency recommends that the venues require a vaccination record or COVID-19 test, but will not enforce it. If an individual at an outdoor event cannot verify that they have been vaccinated, it is recommended that the venue asks the individual to wear a mask.

The California Health Department said the new mandates will run through October 1, but will be reassessed on September 1.

Disneyland reopened for the first time since the pandemic started on April 30 at 25% capacity. Since then, fans have flocked to the theme park.

Fully reopening the park will allow Disney to begin recouping from the impact of the pandemic on one of its biggest revenue streams. Last year, the media giant lost nearly $5 billion due to park closures.

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‘Beyond reprehensible’: GOP Rep. Peter Meijer slams Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comparison of mask mandates to the Holocaust

Peter Meijer
Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan.

  • Rep. Meijer rebuked Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments comparing a mask policy to the Holocaust.
  • “Any comparisons to the Holocaust – it’s beyond reprehensible,” he said.
  • While all House Democrats have been vaccinated, just 45% of GOP members have reported receiving shots.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan on Sunday slammed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for comparing the mask policy on the House floor to the Holocaust, calling her comments “beyond reprehensible.”

Meijer and Greene are both freshmen in the House Republican Caucus.

Greene has long had a penchant for attracting controversy, though, from stalking Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg before taking office to her constant needling of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

In February, Greene lost her House committee assignments after endorsing violence against her political opponents on social media.

However, Greene’s most recent comments have drawn a new wave of criticism, including a rebuke from Meijer on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Any comparisons to the Holocaust – it’s beyond reprehensible,” he said. “I don’t even have words to describe how disappointing it is to see this hyperbolic speech that frankly amps up and plays into a lot of the anti-Semitism that we’ve been seeing in our society today, vicious attacks on the streets of New York and in Los Angeles that should be, and I do condemn that in the strongest terms. There’s no excuse for that.”

During an appearance on Real America’s Voice last Thursday, Greene likened the House mask policy to the Holocaust.

“You know, we can look back at a time in history when people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” she said. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

Jewish organizations immediately Greene’s comments.

“You can never compare health-related restrictions with yellow stars, gas chambers & other Nazi atrocities,” the American Jewish Congress tweeted. “Such comparisons demean the Holocaust & contaminate American political speech.”

Read more: Assassination threats, AOC potshots, and wolf teats: 2 wild weeks inside Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Georgia district as it flips a giant middle finger at DC

The group has asked that Greene retract her statements.

However, in an interview with Arizona 12 News reporter Bianca Buono, Greene doubled down on her comments.

“No one should be treated like a second-class citizen for saying ‘I don’t need to wear a mask,’ or saying that my medical records are my privacy based on my HIPAA rights, and so I stand by all of my statements,” Greene said. “I said nothing wrong.”

She added: “I think any rational Jewish person didn’t like what happened in Nazi Germany, and any rational Jewish person doesn’t like what’s happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies.”

Several Republicans have attempted to flout House regulations mandating masks on the floor, pointing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance that fully-vaccinated Americans can forgo mask-wearing in most places.

However, while all House Democrats have reported being vaccinated, just 45 percent of House Republicans indicated that they have received their shots, prompting the mandate to remain in place.

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Amazon will end its mask requirement for vaccinated employees in the US

amazon boxes packages workers employees
  • Starting May 24, Amazon will no longer require most vaccinated workers to wear masks at work.
  • Employees may be required to present a copy of their vaccine cards.
  • The move comes as big companies like Walmart and Target are dropping mask requirements.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On Monday May 24, Amazon will nix its mask requirement for fully vaccinated operations employees in the US. Exceptions will apply to employees in states or localities that retain mask mandates. In communications sent to workers, the e-commerce giant said that “all other COVID-19 Safety protocols remain the same at this time.”

The company sent out a push notification on its internal A to Z app that said maskless employees must be “14 or more days past your final dose of vaccine (the second dose in a 2-dose series for Pfizer or Moderna or single dose for Johnson & Johnson) and have a copy of your vaccine card.”

Amazon isn’t alone in changing its policies. Most states are relaxing their mask rules, and plenty of brick-and-mortar retailers, including Costco, are dropping mask requirements for shoppers, and Walmart has extended the policy to vaccinated employees as well.

In terms of rolling out its new policy, Amazon is asking workers to enter their vaccine information onto the A to Z app, as well as claim their $40 per dose benefit. Currently, the company also has listed a number of regions where masks will still be required, for the time being, regardless of employees’ vaccination status.

“Fully vaccinated associates will receive a green check mark screen in A to Z starting later this week,” the message to employees said. “Show your green check mark screen when you enter your site, typically at the temperature check location, and you can enter and work without wearing a face covering (where local law permits at your site – keep checking for regular updates in the coming days).

Amazon plans to distribute badge stickers of green check marks to vaccinated workers in early June. By mid-June, the company will ask its workers to upload images of their vaccine cards to A to Z.

“A HUGE thank you to everyone who has and continues to prioritize our COVID-19 safety measures,” the message to employees read. “The last 14 months have not always been easy, but your dedication continues to be appreciated by leaders and customers across the country. We cannot wait to see your smile.”

Are you an Amazon worker with a story to share? Email acain@insider.com.

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Costco will no longer require fully vaccinated customers to wear masks in stores, except in states that still have mask mandates

Costco
A Costco store in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

  • Costco announced that it will no longer require fully vaccinated customers to wear face masks.
  • However, the policy change only applies to locations without state or local mask mandates.
  • All customers will still be required to wear a mask in Costco’s healthcare departments.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Costco announced on Friday that it will no longer require masks for vaccinated customers in some states.

The company posted an updated mask policy on its website following Thursday’s announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks both outdoor and indoors, with some exceptions.

Costco said that in locations with no state or local mask requirements, customers who are fully vaccinated can enter the store without a face mask or shield. The retailer said it will not ask for proof of vaccination.

At stores in areas that still have state or local mask mandates, Costco said it will continue to require customers to wear a mask, with the exception of children under the age of 2.

At all locations, face coverings will still be required in the Pharmacy, Optical, and Hearing Aid departments, per CDC guidance.

“Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield,” the company said.

Costco tightened its policy around face coverings last November amid a surge in COVID cases nationwide. The company announced at the time that all shoppers, even those with medical conditions, would be required to cover their faces in its stores. When Costco instituted its mask policy in May 2020, it initially said people with conditions that prevented them from wearing a mask could go without a face covering. However, anti-maskers often used medical conditions as an excuse to go without face coverings in public places.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will pardon anybody in Florida convicted of breaking masking or social distancing rules

ron desantis florida vaccine 60 minutes
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

  • Florida’s Ron DeSantis pledged to pardon those prosecuted for breaking mask and distancing rules.
  • The Republican has risen to national prominence over his opposition to COVID-19 regulations.
  • The CDC on Thursday said vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or practice distancing.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that he will pardon anyone in the state prosecuted for violating mask or social-distancing COVID-19 rules.

In an appearance on Fox News Wednesday, the Republican said that the rules were a form of government overreach.

He addressed the case of Florida gym owners Mike and Jillian Carnevale, who were arrested for violating mask rules, and were interviewed on the network just before DeSantis.

“I’m going to sign a reprieve under my constitutional authority,” DeSantis told host Laura Ingraham.

“So that will delay the case for 60 days against both of them, and then when our clemency board meets in the coming weeks, we’ll issue pardons not only for Mike and Jillian, but for any Floridian that may have outstanding infractions for things like masks and social distancing.”

“I think they’ve been treated poorly,” he added. “Fortunately, they got a governor that cares.”

On Thursday DeSantis issued an executive order granting a statewide reprieve for businesses and individuals, shielding them from prosecution over COVID-19 rules for 60 days.

DeSantis, a GOP rising star who is considered a potential presidential candidate for 2024, suspended all of Florida’s COVID-19 restrictions, arguing that the effectiveness of vaccines meant they were no longer necessary.

His opposition to rules to slow the spread of COVID-19 has been at the heart of his political brand.

He did not issue a statewide mask mandate during the height of the pandemic, though several counties in the state issued their own mandates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday revised its COVID-19 rules, advising that those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks indoors or observe social distancing.

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