Though we've heard a lot of chatter about what kind of precautions will be put in place once Disney parks reopen to slow the spread of COVID-19, Universal parks have been relatively silent about their plans once the theme parks are given the go-ahead to begin welcoming guests once again. However, it looks like Universal has started weighing their options, and have sent out a survey to select Annual Passholders, detailing what kind of social distancing measures they are considering in the wake of this pandemic, and we now know that there are several options on the table, including some common sense measures, as well as some more extreme ideas.
Ride changes, capacity reductions and closures
Rides and shows are the cornerstone of the theme park experience, but in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, theme park visitors may view these experiences very differently. However, Universal is having some internal discussions about how to make these experiences safer for guests. Among the ideas being discussed are filling every other seat or row in ride vehicles to keep guests physically apart from one another, and lower attraction capacity to 50%. In addition, Universal is considering removing the 3D element from all attractions so that guests will not need to touch those plastic glasses, and Team Members will be required to sanitize vehicles in between ride cycles.
Though these all seem like pretty common sense procedures that could be put in place to help keep guests and Team Members safe, another idea that was more extreme that was proposed in the recent survey that was sent out to Annual Passholders was the closure of all indoor rides and experiences, which doesn't seem particularly feasible considering there are only a handful of outdoor experiences between the two theme parks.
Mandatory COVID-19 testing and temperature checks
While some of the common sense social distancing measures outlined above seem fairly unobtrusive, Universal is apparently also considering some additional health safeguards for guests. Among these are required rapid response COVID-19 testing for all guests entering the park, or temperature checks at the front of the theme park. These measures are certainly more extreme, but if they help guests feel safer in the theme parks, they could be worth the investment.