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Six Flags plans to reopen Illinois parks this spring, hire 4,000 workers

Visitors will see new cleaning teams disinfecting common areas throughout the parks, and all guests 2 years and older will be required to wear a mask.

Six Flags Great America, Hurricane Harbor Chicago and Hurricane Harbor Rockford will reopen this spring with a series of new COVID-19 restrictions.
Six Flags Great America, Hurricane Harbor Chicago and Hurricane Harbor Rockford will reopen this spring with a series of new COVID-19 restrictions.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Six Flags announced Friday it will be hiring 4,000 workers to staff its Illinois theme and water parks this spring, and visitors will find new COVID-19 precautions.

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee is slated to reopen to the public on April 24, while Hurricane Harbor Chicago and Hurricane Harbor Rockford will reopen on May 29.

The Six Flags reopening plan includes social distancing, screening, sanitization, disinfection, new signs, training and personal protective equipment supplies for workers, spokeswoman Caitlin Kepple said.

Temperature check will be done when guests arrive; visitors will be required to have been healthy for at least 14 days before entering the park; and everyone over 2 years old must wear a mask.

All guests must pay for admission in advance. The web-based reservation system will allow visitors to complete a health screen form, select a date to visit and purchase tickets in advance.

The new reservation and contact system will allow the amusement parks to maintain capacity controls and create staggered guest arrival times at the front gate.

Once inside, visitors will see empty seats on some rides to minimize contact between people, and new “clean teams” will be stationed throughout the parks to frequently sanitize high touchpoint areas, like tables and benches. Hand sanitization stations also have been added.

Social distancing messages will be played on TVs throughout the parks.

Pay for workers hired to staff Six Flags Great America, Hurricane Harbor Chicago and Hurricane Harbor Rockford will start at $11 per hour.

All job interviews will be virtual, and if hired, workers will go through mandatory virtual COVID-19 training.

Team member work areas in both the back and front of the parks will be sanitized multiple times each day according to CDC guidelines, and every worker will be given a face mask, gloves and safety glasses to use during their shift, Kepple said.