Disneyland Paris announces plans to reopen in July

The park will begin a phased reopening on Wednesday, July 15

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 16, 2017 shows a general view of Main Street at Disneyland Paris in Marne-La-Vallee, east of the French capital Paris. Disneyland Paris has announced a gradual reopening to start on July 15 after a four-month closure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, AFP reports on June 22, 2020. / AFP / BERTRAND GUAY
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Disneyland Paris will begin a phased reopening of the theme park on Wednesday, July 15, with visitor numbers limited via a new online reservation system to ensure social distancing.

The new regulations announced on Monday will see visitors aged 11 and older have to wear face masks, while the resort's many shows and events will remain suspended.

The first of the resort’s hotels will open on July 15, and the rest will be staggered over the summer months, Disneyland confirmed.

The phased reopening will see "enhanced health and safety measures implemented for both cast members and guests," the company said in a statement.

Same-day ticket sales will no longer be available, and people with non-dated tickets or annual passes will be required to reserve spots in advance.

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The park, which usually welcomes more than 15 million visitors annually, has also suspended its FastPass service that lets people reserve time slots for certain rides "to allow for the necessary queue management".

The resort has also said it will allow guests to cancel or modify their Disney Hotel reservations without charge up to seven days prior to arrival, in the hope of encouraging more visitors during ongoing uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Disneyland Paris, which employs around 16,000 people, began halting shows and limiting the number of visitors inside even before France's nationwide lockdown took effect in mid-March, after some maintenance workers tested positive for Covid-19.

"We are thrilled to see one of the main tourism destinations in Europe and the largest single-site employer in France reopen to guests and its employees," Sophie Huberson of France's SNELAC leisure industry association said in Disney's statement.

The announcement follows the news that Disney World in Orlando, Florida, would begin a phased reopening of its parks in mid-July.