Covid: California to open outdoor attractions in April

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image captionDisneyland said it had put in place "safety protocols" ahead of reopening

Disneyland and other theme parks and stadiums in the US state of California can accept visitors next month under plans to relax some Covid restrictions.

Outdoor sports and entertainment facilities will be permitted to reopen with limited attendance from 1 April, health officials said on Friday.

Under the new rules, bookings will be restricted to local area residents and there will be a ban on indoor dining.

California has seen a steady decline in coronavirus cases since mid-January.

The state has so far recorded more than 53,000 Covid-related deaths.

The US has seen almost twice as many deaths - 522,610 - as the next hardest-hit country, Brazil.

In a statement on Friday, California's health secretary Mark Ghaly said it was the right time to reopen the state's outdoor attractions.

"California can begin gradually and safely bringing back more activities, especially those that occur outdoors and where consistent masking is possible," he said.

The news was welcomed by Disneyland's president Ken Potrock, who said the theme park was looking forward to receiving guests "with responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world".

Along with Disneyland, other attractions permitted to admit visitors include Magic Mountain and Universal Studios.

Other outdoor venues such as ballparks and stadiums will also be able to accept a limited number of visitors.

Capacity will be limited to between 15% and 35%, depending on each county's tier system for restrictions, health officials said.

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