SYDNEY, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Australia's largest amusement parks are set to reopen from the end of the month after COVID-19's forced closures, the parks owner Village Roadshow announced on Wednesday, also revealing the multi-million dollar cost of the pandemic.
The parks include Movie World, Sea World, Australian Outback Spectacular, and the country's largest waterpark, Wet'n'Wild -- which are located in a central precinct in the State of Queensland and have been closed since March.
Crowds will return gradually from June 26, with an initial allowance of only 50 percent of regular capacity, on top of strict virus containment measures.
These include a new app enabling people to pre-book rides rather waiting in queues, cleaning of rides before and after each use, covid-safe training for staff, and the removal of certain high-risk attractions.
CEO of Village Roadshow Theme Parks, Clark Kirby said that the reopening was difficult to navigate amid COVID-19 but offered hope for the popular attractions' recovery.
"We've only shut a handful of days in our entire existence, so to be shut for three months is really quite unlike anything else," Kirby said.
"At one point we were losing between 10 to 15 million dollars a month."
Some Australian States have begun to allow interstate travel in order to boost struggling tourist operations, however Queensland has been a hold out -- resisting calls from the more virus-affected states of New South Wales and Victoria to open its domestic borders.
Kirby said that the operation would aim to return to full visitor capacity for the busy September school holiday period. Enditem