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Six Flags Promises a "New Normal" of Masks and Social Distancing When It Reopens Parks in June

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos – May 26, 2020 at 9:03AM

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The COVID-19 threat hasn't gone away, and that means big changes are coming to the theme park experience.

The theme park experience is going to look different for the foreseeable future. Six Flags (SIX -0.52%) announced today what management called "extensive new safety measures and hygiene protocols" as part of a reopening plan that begins with its Frontier City park in Oklahoma on June 5.

Six Flags will require masks to be worn by all employees and visitors over the age of 2. Parks will be fitted with social distancing markers, and there will be dozens of layout changes ranging from redesigned buffet and salad bars to limited arcade game access.

"This 'new normal' will be very different," CEO Mike Spanos said in a press release, "but we believe these additional measures are appropriate in the current environment."

A pink and red roller coaster with the participants riding through an upside-down portion of the rack

Image source: Getty Images.

Six Flags and peers including Cedar Fair (FUN -0.67%) and Disney (DIS -1.98%) are aiming to satisfy demand for their parks as the peak summer season starts, while also minimizing the threat of spreading COVID-19. CDC guidance recommends protective measures like face masks in situations where social distancing of at least 6 feet can't be maintained at all times. Heeding those health guidelines will require major operating changes for a business like Six Flags, which entertained 33 million guests in fiscal 2019.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Cedar Fair and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short July 2020 $115 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation Stock Quote
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
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The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
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Cedar Fair, L.P. Stock Quote
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