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Coronavirus: Impact on Theme Parks

Catmaydo

Roller Poster
Because it doesn't sound as dramatic as "40,000 UK deaths from coronavirus but true toll may be much higher" "Coronavirus could be spread by sex after recovery" and "Black people four times more likely to die from Covid-19!!!!"

(I'm not disputing the facts, it is a ridiculous level of reporting these types of headlines, and that last one quite racist - and that one comes from a newspaper that likes to call everyone that word). One could also write: "Riding a roller coaster could lead to you losing your legs" 100 times per day for weeks. It doesn't make it morally right or offer a level of perspective.)

If you're black or Asian you're already statistically at higher risk of developing diabetes, or high blood pressure (because lots of reasons). Both of those things are risk factors in dealing with and treating COVID-19. I wish it wasn't the case, but those are hard facts that a lot of us deal with every time we go to the GP. Those two things already put people like me at a disadvantage before you take into account higher rates of poverty, access to healthcare, and community mistrust in government/healthcare institutions.

You seem to have a beef with the media...whatever. Blithely calling sections of the media racist for reporting on real issues that affect BAME communities every single day because you have an axe to grind with journalism is disingenuous. Regardless of your views on mainstream media, these are things that are very real and aren't going to disappear because it doesn't fit someone's personal biases.

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roomraider

Best Topic Starter
Not really to do with Theme Parks but as I work away a lot of the time. My agents have been saying that almost all work i can get outside the UK will require a 2 week quarantine upon arrival into any given country and before starting work. And that this is likely until October and possibly until 2021.

I've been getting possible jobs through from agents during this crisis and many of them have had this stipulation (although Norway seems happy with us self isolating for 2 weeks in the UK before flying and working there).

Now there are other factors at work here. I work on ships and getting on a ship and then finding out someone has the virus would be a bloody disaster for everyone in such a closed environment. So i fully support these measures. However I wouldnt be surprised to see these measures being applied to many countries for just simple travel for months to come after lockdown ends.

Basically if you have a 2 week holiday booked somewhere like the USA any time this year I wouldnt be surprised if you would be expected to spend that entire 2 weeks self isolating making the whole trip somewhat pointless. Lockdown may slowly come to an end and you may be able to visit parks in your own country but if you do plan to fly somewhere for a park visit just be aware it may not be possible for some time.

Obviously not gospel but its whats coming through in my industry and its very much not in my agents interests to worry us about taking jobs since thats how they get paid themselves.
 

ECG

East Coast(er) General
Staff member
Administrator
Silverwood is opening on May 30th and 31st, and both Silverwood and Boulder Beach will open for daily operation starting June 6th. I believe this is the first U.S. park to announce definite opening days.
Mt. Olympus, on the other hand, announced that their water and amusement parks will only open to resort guests. So you will have to book a room in order to ride the coasters. No opening date has been announced, but it's assumed both outdoor parks will open Memorial Day weekend, as usual, especially since the indoor amusement and water parks have been open throughout the worldwide pandemic shutdown.
 

Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
If you're black or Asian you're already statistically at higher risk of developing diabetes, or high blood pressure (because lots of reasons). Both of those things are risk factors in dealing with and treating COVID-19. I wish it wasn't the case, but those are hard facts that a lot of us deal with every time we go to the GP. Those two things already put people like me at a disadvantage before you take into account higher rates of poverty, access to healthcare, and community mistrust in government/healthcare institutions.

You seem to have a beef with the media...whatever. Blithely calling sections of the media racist for reporting on real issues that affect BAME communities every single day because you have an axe to grind with journalism is disingenuous. Regardless of your views on mainstream media, these are things that are very real and aren't going to disappear because it doesn't fit someone's personal biases.

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There are other ways the media can report these things (and they have).. The government for example mentioned in today's press conference: "ethnic backgrounds most likely play a part in risk factors", something along those lines. They do not need to single out certain members of the community with the type of headlines they have used to make them feel more scared at all. But they do and I don't agree with it. It is not tactful or helpful or right. I think it is partly such headlines that indeed keep racism alive. I believe they influence people to speak differently about people from different ethnic backgrounds. I do think semantics are important to consider regarding that. People don't have to ignore people's skin colours per see but blatant fear mongering about/towards a certain group to me doesn't seem right. I had a very uncomfortable conversation with a shop owner a few years back, who said about the London knife crime "Oh it only affects blacks". I could see that language thus being used here. I don't agree with it and the media I think have a responsibility in this for sure. (I never re-visited that shop btw and it is very local)

I honestly have not seen the level of reporting that we have here in the UK from Dutch newspapers/outlets at all, at ANY stage during the pandemic including when numbers were nowhere near as high as they are now in the UK.

I never disagreed with the facts or risk factors. As for one of the reasons why there are different risk factors between different ethnic backgrounds, the Youtube videos of Dr. John Campbell regarding Vitamin D deficiency are interesting and may be of interest to you if you haven't seen them.

Why is journalism important in this thread? It plays a huge role in how theme parks are perceived and the Smiler incident for example had a massive influence on Alton Towers' last 4 years of operating and had a wide influence on theme parks in the UK most likely too. Towers were completely honest about that in fact in a presentation I attended last year. To be fair you can see it as a two way street because Towers does use the media to their advantage more than other parks through advertising. But negative headlines have a long lasting damaging impact on their trade and I do think the media like to exaggerate. You would never get away from that necessarily. I've even seen people comment on loopings.nl that they think the Dutch media hyped things up over Covid 19 and think the measures in Efteling that will be taken are over the top.

There is a balance between attention grabbing headlines, using tactful language and telling the truth.

Visit the Express on any day for example to see anti Germany and anti EU rhetoric based on little fact. There is often little substance behind the headline.

The UK media outlets will thus I think have a massive influence in this country when theme parks can operate or at least the sort of measures they will have to have in place to make people feel safe even if these measures are mostly an illusion of safety, because they have in at least some way conditioned the fear in people over this virus over the last few months.
 
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Nitefly

Hyper Poster
The race thing with COVID is interesting. There are definitely some physiological differences, or perhaps it’s better to say ‘nuances’, between different races that DO make them more or less susceptible to diseases compared to others. It can’t be disputed. With that said, some people have observed that, in London and as a broad generalisation, some ethnicities don’t seem to be paying regard to social distancing compared to others (this presumably being a cultural tendency). There are clearly culprits for all ethnicities - the white chav population in my home city are utterly ignorant. In any case, there is a ‘cluster’ of ethnic minorities in London - is this skewing things? I don’t know.

Whatever is actually occurring, I really don’t like it being used as a political weapon. As in, I recall some politician barking on that the Government isn’t doing enough to protect certain minorities from the virus. It’s a nonsense - the same protective measures apply to everyone, although people known to be more susceptible should be more cautious and it’s obviously right to investigate the issue.
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
As far as trips abroad go, for me it all depends if other countries heed the pleas from the EU to remove border restrictions. Doesn’t look like we’ll be opening the pub any time soon, and when we do it will be on a part time cost effective basis, so the self isolation upon return is not an obstacle for me.

Poland’s border controls end today, and so far no known requests submitted to the EU to extend them. (Countries have to notify / apply to the EU under the Schengen Agreement.) In fact Poland seem to have used up the permissible time under Art. 28 and should already have notified, if they plan to extend it under Art. 25 or Art. 26... But these are unprecedented times, so I don’t know how rigid these rules are, will have to wait and see today I guess.

BTW Austria, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany and Norway have all notified the EU of their intentions to control their borders up until November. There does however seem to be a reciprocal agreement between the UK and France... When does Parc Asterix open?


(For the record I only spent a few hours yesterday looking into this, and previously had zero understanding of it, so if I’ve miss-understood anything I apologise)

Edit: Just to add, reading this back it looks like I might be hopeful of being able to travel, I am not... Was just noting out of interest that the only obstacle between me and visiting Poland is their border controls which are due to expire today... My booked flight is already back in operation, the 2 week quarantine here is not an issue... However, I fully expect them to extend their border controls in some way. And despite it being advisory rather than legislative, I don’t think I would travel against FCO’s “all but essential” advice anyway.
 
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SimonProD

Roller Poster
On what I've heard today on the morning news is that the border between Germany and Austria will re-open June 15th - but only for the nationals of both countries. Also Germany is willing to open the border to Denmark - but only if Denmark opens it likewise. On the other hand it was announced that the train service between Cologne and Paris will re-open "soon" - so I assume France and Germany are negotiating something - but again only for its own nationals.

Looks like there will be travel between two countries soon - but no transit travel to reach a thrid country.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I had a thought; how will the ride manufacturers fare through all of this? Will they have the money to continue once the pandemic is over?

I think that most should survive, personally, as quite a few parks still have 2021 and 2022 rides ordered. And by the time 2023 comes, I’d imagine the park industry will be close to having recovered, if it hasn’t already recovered.
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
On what I've heard today on the morning news is that the border between Germany and Austria will re-open June 15th - but only for the nationals of both countries. Also Germany is willing to open the border to Denmark - but only if Denmark opens it likewise. On the other hand it was announced that the train service between Cologne and Paris will re-open "soon" - so I assume France and Germany are negotiating something - but again only for its own nationals.

Looks like there will be travel between two countries soon - but no transit travel to reach a thrid country.

This is all a bit strange and making a mockery of the EU / Schengen. Either borders need to be closed, or they can be opened... Countries negotiating “their own deals” with upwards of 3 other countries... so far... Smells a bit fishy.

Open the EU to internal travel, shut off external travel completely. Should be enough of a lifeline to the sectors that rely on travel, without increasing case numbers within the EU. But they won’t do that, as the EU is showing it’s true colours, gone is any unity, it’s every country for themselves...
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I had a thought; how will the ride manufacturers fare through all of this? Will they have the money to continue once the pandemic is over?

I think that most should survive, personally, as quite a few parks still have 2021 and 2022 rides ordered. And by the time 2023 comes, I’d imagine the park industry will be close to having recovered, if it hasn’t already recovered.
I work as a consultant engineer for a large consultancy firm - I basically do the same thing B&M do for coasters, just for buildings - so will speak from experience that is hopefully relevant.

Many of our projects are carrying on regardless. We're working on things that won't be completed for many years in most cases (in mine specifically for nearly a decade), and our clients understand that this is a 'blip' in the grand scheme of things. There will, no doubt, be long lasting effects socially and economically, but there will still be a need for houses, shops, hospitals, airports, etc in 2025. The markets may shift (could we see less investment in let-able office space moving forwards, and an even more aggressive focus on data centres and data infrastructure - probably), but the world of consulting engineering isn't quite as vulnerable during things like this. We've shown that we can work just as effectively from home, so if projects want to continue, we can continue to deliver.

Of course, that doesn't answer the question on whether we have the money 'in the bank' to ride out any potential short-term drop off. Thankfully, we do, but many aren't quite so fortunate. That said, banks and investors will understand that short term loans to prop up a company are inherently less risky in this field than, say, theme-park-VR-headset companies, whose future also looks uncertain.

Difficult one to assess, but if I was a betting man I'd wager that most of the manufacturers are working on cautious optimism, and will be fine.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
This is all a bit strange and making a mockery of the EU / Schengen. Either borders need to be closed, or they can be opened... Countries negotiating “their own deals” with upwards of 3 other countries... so far... Smells a bit fishy.

Open the EU to internal travel, shut off external travel completely. Should be enough of a lifeline to the sectors that rely on travel, without increasing case numbers within the EU. But they won’t do that, as the EU is showing it’s true colours, gone is any unity, it’s every country for themselves...
Your criticism of the EU is extremely misplaced.... Of course ‘free movement’ between countries is going to be restricted in the case of a pandemic!! It makes complete sense to limit the possibility of new cases from other areas, in this case countries.

A similar thing is happening in the United Kingdom with the English approach vs. Wales and Scotland. It’s not the breakdown of the UK, it’s just a pandemic with each country having its own concerns.

I really wouldn’t get bogged down in that.
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
Your criticism of the EU is extremely misplaced.... Of course ‘free movement’ between countries is going to be restricted in the case of a pandemic!! It makes complete sense to limit the possibility of new cases from other areas, in this case countries.

A similar thing is happening in the United Kingdom with the English approach vs. Wales and Scotland. It’s not the breakdown of the UK, it’s just a pandemic with each country having its own concerns.

I really wouldn’t get bogged down in that.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I am pro EU, and I fully understand the importance for the border controls as required, my concern is that all of these little reciprocal ‘deals’ between countries undermine the foundations of the EU and Schengen.

Either border controls are needed, or they’re not. It, shouldn’t be a case of nobody can enter, except citizens of France, so long as UK citizens can also enter France...
 

Catmaydo

Roller Poster
There are other ways the media can report these things (and they have).. The government for example mentioned in today's press conference: "ethnic backgrounds most likely play a part in risk factors", something along those lines. They do not need to single out certain members of the community with the type of headlines they have used to make them feel more scared at all. But they do and I don't agree with it. It is not tactful or helpful or right. I think it is partly such headlines that indeed keep racism alive. I believe they influence people to speak differently about people from different ethnic backgrounds. I do think semantics are important to consider regarding that. People don't have to ignore people's skin colours per see but blatant fear mongering about/towards a certain group to me doesn't seem right.

Maybe it's the news outlets I turn to for news, but most of the reporting I've seen hasn't unfairly singled people out. Having said that, I steer clear of the Express, Sun and Daily Mail so maybe I'm missing out on some real zingers. They're usually a little light on facts and integrity.

The UK press really can, at times, be absolutely vile in how they treat people, but that doesn't mean that the reporting on the relationship between ethnicity and COVID-19 is wrong factually or ethically. If people are at higher risk they should be informed, and downplaying it to stop people from being too scared could also mean that people aren't being made aware.

Yes, there's a balance to be achieved in responsible reporting, but saying that certain groups are at greater risk shouldn't influence someone to hate another ethnic group unless they're already a bit racist. I sincerely hope that most ordinary people hearing that a group of people are at risk from a virus would prompt empathy and understanding, not hate. Even as I write this I know that there are past examples to prove myself wrong re: empathy, but for once I want to believe that the world is capable of not being 100% awful
 
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Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Oh don’t get me wrong, I am pro EU, and I fully understand the importance for the border controls as required, my concern is that all of these little reciprocal ‘deals’ between countries undermine the foundations of the EU and Schengen.

Either border controls are needed, or they’re not. It, shouldn’t be a case of nobody can enter, except citizens of France, so long as UK citizens can also enter France...
Ah OK, sorry for getting the wrong end of the stick, in part.

I think it’s far too early for it to be deemed to undermine the border controls. If we blew up the UK in size so that it was equivalent to the US, it would make sense that localised counties allowed movement between them. That’s effectively the same principle that the EU countries are applying to deliberately curb the spread of the virus from any hot spots that arise whilst being as flexible as possible for economic purposes.

If it persisted post-pandemic then yes it would be odd, but restrictions to movement between countries, states or even counties does make sense in appropriate circumstance.
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
Ah OK, sorry for getting the wrong end of the stick, in part.

I think it’s far too early for it to be deemed to undermine the border controls. If we blew up the UK in size so that it was equivalent to the US, it would make sense that localised counties allowed movement between them. That’s effectively the same principle that the EU countries are applying to deliberately curb the spread of the virus from any hot spots that arise whilst being as flexible as possible for economic purposes.

If it persisted post-pandemic then yes it would be odd, but restrictions to movement between countries, states or even counties does make sense in appropriate circumstance.

Actually the more I think about it the more it does make sense. I suppose one of the benefits could be that of a slow reintroduction of travellers into your country, rather than a ‘turn the taps back on’ full influx, which would risk too much pressure on companies trying to get to grips with safe practices.

I can concede that this slow start would still have huge benefits for the local economy, allow the most important travel between direct neighbours, and allow the travel sector to restart at a pace that will not overload the system to such a point that would compromise distancing measures too quickly.

OK, so it does make sense... Who’s coming to Parc Asterix?

EDIT: Although (still thinking here) do France not risk a situation where (in a month or two) suddenly every Brit is looking to the south of France for holidays this summer?
 

SimonProD

Roller Poster
Update from the German Ministry of State: All inbound travel from Schengen states we be allowed again without a 14-day isolation starting June 15. All inbound travellers from non-Schnegen states will continue to have a 14-day isolation. All travel between Germany and Louxembourg will be allowed starting May 16. Germany is in negotiations with Denmark to open the border for both nationals as soon as possible before June 15.

All travellers should hovever check changes on short notice if for example the infection rate greatly increases in a country travellers from this EU or non-EU state will be rejected or they have to do a 14-day isolation.

Also if a traveller is diagnosed with Covid he has to leave Germany on the next day - unless of course his situation is critical.

It is stressed that there rules are made with border-crossing workers and day-trips in mind. It is highly recommended to stay in your own country for longer holiday trips.
 
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Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
Update from the German Ministry of State: All inbound travel from Schengen states we be allowed again without a 14-day isolation starting June 15. All inbound travellers from non-Schnegen states will continue to have a 14-day isolation. All travel between Germany and Louxembourg will be allowed starting May 16. Germany is in negotiations with Denmark to open the border for both nationals as soon as possible before June 15.

All travellers should hovever check changes on short notice if for example the infection rate greatly increases in a country travellers from this EU or non-EU state will be rejected or they have to do a 14-day isolation.

Also if a traveller is diagnosed with Covid he has to leave Germany on the next day - unless of course his situation is critical.

It is stressed that there rules are made with border-crossing workers and day-trips in mind. It is highly recommended to stay in your own country for longer holiday trips.

So I could get a lengthy road trip in and isolate on return before I’m even going to need to start preparing to open the pub!!! Every cloud... ?
 
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