COVID-19 has engulfed the world in 2020 and there doesn't look to be an end in site heading into 2021. This has prompted Six Flags to think about potential ways of keeping guests as safe as possible in 2021. It has been reported by Orlando Weekly that this past week Six Flags has sent out at least four different surveys to try and ascertain people's opinions on visiting theme parks during the continuing pandemic.
One survey asks a number of questions relating to measures that would make guests feel most safe whilst visiting over the festive period, including "Everyone around you has been recently COVID-19 tested" as well as social distancing and outside events only.
Due to Six Flags looking into the potential of requiring all guests to take a COVID-19 test before they are admitted to their parks, they have produced an in-depth survey of approximately 50 questions which deals with the concept of on-site COVID-19 testing.
One of the questions can been seen in the image below and gives the hypothetical scenario that a COVID-19 test has been invented that is "almost 100% accurate" with results being given in 15 minutes. It then asks whether you would be happy to submit to such a test. As we know, no such test has yet been devised that can be said to be guaranteed as "almost 100% accurate" but we are sure scientists around the world are working on it.
It backs up the survey by explaining that many businesses in Europe now require proof of being 'COVID FREE' within the last seven days in order to be able to visit. A test at a pharmacy is said to cost $5 and you are then given a card that is valid for the next seven days. Another one of the questions on the survey is "Would you be willing to stop by a pharmacy to get a test specifically in preparation to visit a local theme park or amusement park?" With this method, there appears to be the problem that the virus could have been contracted within the seven days of getting the test so certainly wouldn't seem as safe as the on-site testing if indeed a test was created that was reliably almost 100% accurate.
Six Flags are definitely testing the water with this survey and if this is something that comes to fruition it will be very interesting to see if Disney and Universal and other theme parks across the world follow suit and make on-site COVID-19 testing mandatory in 2021.