Workers United Local 50, the union that represents workers at Disneyland in Anaheim, announced to members on its Facebook page that the theme park will require all its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by April 11.
“We have received notice, after months of good faith negotiations on the matter, that the company will be moving forward on a vaccine mandate for Local 50 and other Union’s [sic] not currently under a mandate,” read the statement posted this past Thursday. “Cast will receive an email with details of the mandate. The deadline will be April 11th to have verification of vaccination submitted. Accommodations for religious and/or medical reasons will be available.”
In the comments of the post, Local 50 official Chris Shively said that the union asked Disney during negotiations to require guests at the theme park to also show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or recent negative test and that the company refused. has reached out to Disneyland reps for comment.
Disneyland reopened on April 30, 2021, after being closed for 13 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which a rift arose between California Gov. Gavin Newsom and outgoing Disney CEO Bob Iger over the Newsom’s insistence to keep theme parks closed while other businesses were steadily reopening.
While capacity for certain Disneyland rides and attractions were altered until June 2021 to allow for social distancing protocols and guests are still required to wear masks in all indoor areas, the park has only “strongly recommended” that guests be vaccinated.
In Orange County, where Disneyland is located, confirmed COVID-19 cases remained low in the early summer following the park’s reopening but bumped up to a seven-day average of just under 1,000 in August amidst the Delta variant surge. This past month, thanks to the more contagious Omicron variant, the seven-day average of new infections rose to a county-record 8,900 while topping 40,000 in adjacent Los Angeles County, though that average has since steadily declined in the past two weeks.