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Six Flags plans to open all of its amusement parks in 2021
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Six Flags plans to open all of its amusement parks in 2021

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Six Flags

In this aerial view from a drone, rides sit idle at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on April 15, 2020, in Vallejo, California. Amusement parks in California were closed as the state's residents were under a shelter-in-place order in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation says it is planning to open all 26 of its amusement parks and water parks for the 2021 season, including five that were not able to operate last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it worked with epidemiologists to develop a reopening plan that "meets or exceeds federal, state and local guidelines for sanitization, hygiene and social distancing protocols."

Six Flags will limit the number of people in its parks, and guests will need to make reservations before their visits. Masks will be required for all workers and guests, who will also have to pass temperature checks, according to its website.

The company is also taking steps to encourage social distancing on rides, in lines and seating areas and other areas around its parks.

Six Flags (SIX) is hiring thousands of workers to operate its rides, restaurants and other attractions at its parks in the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a news release.

"Our guests and team members are ready for the return of fun and signature Six Flags thrills in 2021," Bonnie Weber, senior vice president of Park Operations, said in the release. "Last year, we set the standard for operating our parks safely, and entertained millions of guests in adherence to government, and CDC health guidelines at 21 of our 26 parks."

Weber said the company is working with state and local officials to set firm reopening dates for its parks in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mexico City and Canada.

Six Flags Over Texas in Dallas-Fort Worth and Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio had already opened on weekends in February, but had to close on Saturday and Sunday because of the devastating winter storm.

Many of the parks are set to open in the next few weeks, though some of the water parks and parks in northern cities will open later in the spring.

Only 4.6 million people visited the parks in the first nine months of 2020 — an 83% decrease from the 26.7 million who attended over the same period in 2019.

The company will release its fourth quarter and full year financial reports for 2020 on Wednesday.

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