Walt Disney Company Clears Latest Safe Reopening Hurdle

The Walt Disney Company announced Thursday it had reached an agreement with its employee union on a new set of health and safety guidelines to protect workers from coronavirus.

According to Reuters.com, Disney and the Service Trades Council Union (STCU) agreed to a series of new preventative measures designed to safeguard employees, including social distancing practices, increased cleaning and mandatory masks for workers and guests.

The STCU represents around 43,000 workers at Disney World in Orlando.

Company officials recently announced Disney Springs would reopen on May 20 with a limited number of shops and restaurants open and altered hours of operation to control crowd size.

While the agreement with its employee union and the reopening of Disney Springs are positive steps, no date for opening Disney World back up to the public has been revealed. Earlier this week, though, the company’s official website began accepting hotel reservations for July.

Disney started closing theme parks in Asia, France and the United States in late January as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, a move that cost the company more than $1 billion between January and March.

In addition, Disney was forced to furlough around 120,000 employees, but positive signs from the reopening of Shanghai Disneyland this week has the theme park industry cautiously optimistic for the near future.

Disney World is planning a phased reopening with enhanced safety measures, but there is no set date for any official reopening.

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