Europa Park located in Rust, Germany is reopening its gates to guests on May 29. This includes the opening of all of its six hotels, its Camp Resort and Europa-Park Camping, only Rulantica (its water park) remains closed until further notice. On May 18 it began a step by step plan to open hotel restaurants, beginning with outside areas first. Capacity will be limited when the theme park opens so they have introduced day-specific tickets which can only be purchased online through their official site.
It will be the second major European park to reopen, following Efteling on May 20, 2020. Although Government guidelines vary slightly from country to country depending on the number of COVID-19 cases they have had, all theme park operators have had to devise detailed plans to ensure they are able to implement the safety measures that are required to keep employees and guests as safe as possible at a time when COVID-19 is still present.
The big talking point in the US with the Florida parks is the decision by some theme park operators, currently Universal and Disney, to make the wearing of masks mandatory for employees and guests for the whole duration of their visit to the theme park, including when riding attractions. The only time they can be taken off is when eating. This has inevitably caused controversy amongst theme park goers.
Interestingly, unlike Efteling, Europa Park has made masks mandatory stating on it's official site:
"Mouth-nose mask – Due to the mask requirement, you must wear a mouth-nose mask in all closed areas, waiting areas of all kind as well as in attractions. Scarfs and handkerchiefs are not permitted on the attractions. 'Multifunctional handkerchiefs' that sit firmly around the mouth and nose are exceptions. We suggest to bring your own mouth-nose mask. You can also purchase one from us onsite. This includes all visitor groups (such as children)."
New General Hygiene and Safety Measures Being Put Into Place For Reopening
Alongside mask wearing, the following measures are being put into place to try to ensure the safety of employees and guests:
- Health – visitors are asked to only visit when feeling in good health. Anyone who has been in contact with a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the last 14 days or shows symptoms of a respiratory infection or high temperature, must not visit Europa-Park. They also recommend that if you are at a higher risk to avoid a visit for your own safety.
- Distance – Keeping at least 1.5 metres distance away from others throughout your stay. This appears to be the standard recommendation for social distancing at this point.
- Sneezing & coughing – guests are kindly asked to follow the sneezing and coughing etiquette during your visit to Europa-Park.
- Washing hands – strongly recommending frequent and thorough hand-washing.
- Feeling unwell – If you feel unwell during your visit, you are asked to avoid contact with other guests, and get in touch with a member of staff.
How These Hygiene And Safety Measures Will Be Helped By Staff
These measures will be put into place to try to ensure employee and guest safety when Europa Park reopens its gates:
- Disinfection – There will be mobile 'disinfectors' (artists with disinfectant dispensers) throughout the whole park. Disinfectants will also be available to purchase in the shop.
- Waiting area – distance markers have been placed in all waiting areas and it specifies that a maximum three people from a household can stand in any one section.
- Ventilation – Attractions, shops and restaurants will be ventilated in regular intervals, to maintain fresh air.
- Cleaning – Surfaces, such as handrails, door handles, toilettes, safety bars etc. will be cleaned and disinfected at increased intervals. The rides will also be cleaned additionally in specific intervals, this process is promised to have been optmised to keep wait times as low as they can be.
- Digital Technology for Queuing - introduced digital technologies to manage queues and minimum distances between visitors.
- Release Additional App - providing a gamified way to keep the correct distance when in the park. For information regarding this app, CLICK HERE.