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Disney World may add coronavirus temperature checks for reopening, says Bob Iger

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA

Though it is not clear when Walt Disney World theme parks will reopen in Orlando, Florida, as the coronavirus has shut down most nonessential businesses, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger says he has a plan in mind that may include temperature checks.

“One of the things that we’re discussing already is that in order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they’re safe. Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions,” Iger explained in an interview with Barron’s.

“Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures, as a for-instance,” he continued.

Disney’s Orlando theme parks have been shut down since March 16. A few days later, its neighboring company-owned hotels and stores also closed their doors to the public.

Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, has been closed as well as Disney’s foreign theme parks in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

There is no official reopening date at this time as the U.S. and the rest of the globe try to fight off the deadly respiratory virus. In Florida, where Disney’s largest theme parks are located, more than 250 people have succumbed to the virus, which has in turn caused local governments to enact stay-at-home mandates.

With these precautions in mind, Iger told Barron’s Disney executives have been studying China’s heightened security measures and health monitoring for economic recovery.

“So we’ve asked ourselves the question, let’s prepare for a world where our customers demand that we scrutinize everybody. Even if it creates a little bit of hardship, like it takes a little bit longer for people to get in,” he said.

Iger also believes the coronavirus pandemic will change how Disney properties operate in the future.

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