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Actors Union Wants Disney to Delay Reopening of Florida Theme Parks

The union that represents actors at Walt Disney World says the company should its the scheduled July reopening of its Florida parks.

Disney’s Orlando parks are scheduled to reopen July 11, after being closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Actors’ Equity Association said Thursday that it remains unclear how Disney World could “responsibly” reopen, as cases of the virus continue to increase throughout the state.

The news comes a day after Disney announced it is delaying the reopening of its California themes parks from the original July 17 date there.

“For weeks, we have made it clear to Disney that testing is a fundamental part of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone, from the guests to the cast,” said Mary McColl, executive director of the Actors’ Equity Association.

She continued, “It is deeply disturbing that while coronavirus cases in Florida surge, Disney is refusing to provide regular testing to one of the few groups of workers in the park who by the very nature of their jobs, cannot use personal protective equipment. Now is the time for Disney to pause, focus on the science and put the safety of their actors and stage managers first by making regular testing available.”

Florida reported more than 114,000 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, an increase of 5,004 over Wednesday.

The union represents about 600 actors at Disney World, out of a total workforce of 77,000 employees at the resort.

It also is concerned that not enough testing was planned for the actors, who are unable to use face masks on the job.