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Limited reopening for Universal's entertainment district

After being shuttered for almost two months, Universal Orlando plans to allow the reopening of some restaurants and shops on a limited basis in the theme park resort's entertainment district this week, company officials said Tuesday.

About a half-dozen restaurants and eateries, as well as two retail shops and some merchandise carts, will reopen at Universal Orlando Citywalk on Thursday in a sign of the baby steps Orlando's theme parks are taking to get back to business after they closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Next week, Walt Disney World will allow some third-party shops and restaurants in its Disney Springs entertainment district to reopen. Workers and guests will be required to wear face masks. Per state rules, indoor capacity will be limited to 25% and dining tables outside must be more than 6 feet apart.

Neither Disney World nor Universal officials have said when theme parks and hotels will reopen.

At Universal's Citywalk, visitors will have their temperature checked upon arrival, and if it's 100.4 degrees or higher, they won't be allowed to enter. Visitors also will have to wear face masks which they can purchase. The venues will limit their capacity to ensure social distancing. They also will have cashless payment options, and visitors will be able to self-park for free, the resort said in a news release.

Workers also will have their temperatures checked and will have to wear face masks. All chairs and tables will be cleaned and disinfected after each seating, and high-touch areas also will be frequently cleaned, the resort said.

The venues will only be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the restaurants will have a limited menu.

“Guests should evaluate their own risk as they determine whether to visit. And, in line with CDC guidelines, we specifically do not recommend older adults or individuals at high-risk with severe underlying medical conditions visit our facilities," said the news release, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.