COVID-19 has dominated 2020 and it doesn't look to be going anywhere anytime soon. The impact across the world has been massive with months of closures for theme parks all over the globe. Although most theme parks have now been reopen for a number of months including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, theme Parks in California including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood have remained shuttered since closures back in March.
With limited capacity and numerous safety measures now in place at all theme parks to try to keep employees and guests as safe as possible, theme parks are having to plan strategies for 2021 which will hopefully see attendance increasing with guests feeling safer in the parks.
Six Flags have been sending a number of questionnaires out to guests to gauge opinion on how to do this. One of the 50-question surveys focused on finding out whether people would be willing to submit to taking an on-site COVID-19 test if there was one that was proven to be almost 100% accurate with results being given in 15 minutes.
Although there appears to be logic to this type of testing in order to make guests feel safer in the parks, I can't help feeling it will be a contentious one, with many people not wanting to submit to having to be tested in order to enter a theme park.
Our latest Big Debate therefore asked your opinion on this with the question, Should On-Site COVID-19 Testing Be Mandatory at Theme Parks in 2021? We had a good response to this poll and here are the results:
- No - 61%
- Yes - 39%
Although 39% of those people that voted said they would be happy to submit to on-site COVID-19 testing, the remaining 61% said they would not. If this is the general consensus across all people surveyed, it looks like bad news for Six Flags and other theme parks who were hoping this could be a strategy to improve guest safety and improve attendance in 2021. Let's take a look at a number of your comments regarding this.
Your Thoughts and Comments
In our Big Debate RESULTS articles we usually choose a selection of your comments on the issue to share with all our readers. We always try to get a balance of comments from each side of the debate.
"No. Since you can test negative one day then positive the next they would need to test park guests every day. We have seven day tickets and no I don't want to get tested seven days in a row."
"No...this is getting ridiculous...have there even been outbreaks at any theme park that would even warrant considering this? People need to stop panicking. I’d just skip the parks if they required testing."
"If it keeps ppl safe and let’s ppl enjoy life again without fear then go for it! Dnt see the issue. Safety first."
"Not guest...just cast members. Guest still should be subject to temperature check upon entry and wear masks while social distancing. They could request documentation from the guests doctors up to one week before their visit as do resorts in the Caribbean and Europe to secure their reservations."
"The tests are phony baloney. False reads. Should not be used."
"I say yes to the test, only if it’s a rapid test and results are immediate. The reason for testing...so if you are asymptomatic you won’t pass it on....and why not masks....even if Covid is gone, I don’t want anyone else’s germs.."
"Not until the instant test becomes more accurate. It’s meaningless until then."
"Nope. I will not be doing this unless they plan to give me every bit of my money back if I test positive with no symptoms. Imagine, you pay for your entire trip just to be turned away without a single symptom. Disney would have to change their money back policy."
"ONLY if it means we won’t have to wear a face mask!"
"You cannot force people to test!"
A number of valid points and questions have come out of this debate including:
- Tests aren't accurate enough at the moment to make this a worthwhile measure.
- What happens if you test positive regarding refunds of tickets/hotels?
- If you are on a seven day Disney holiday will you have to be tested everyday?
- Will this mean that face masks won't have to be worn if everyone has taken the test? Some readers think masks should continue to be worn so as to reduce the spread of germs even if on-site COVID-19 tests were done at the gate.
There are clearly a lot of unanswered questions on this subject. With hopefully an effective vaccine on the horizon we may get closer to the lives we once knew before COVID-19 during 2021. We will have to wait and see what other measures theme parks decide to take to ensure employees and guests can be as safe as possible in the parks. We will keep you up to date with all the announcements on our News and Facebook page.
If you want to have your say on this subject and haven't done so yet, just leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. Don't forget to look out for our next Big Debate which will be coming soon to Theme Park Tourist.