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UNIVERSAL Orlando Resort hit full capacity 10 MINUTES after opening for the second day in a row as visitors crammed through its doors.
At 8am this morning, Universal ground to a halt as images showed crowds disregarding social distancing and not wearing masks – despite Florida's surging Covid numbers.
Photographs taken by guests show large crowds waiting in line to get into attractions despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This week has seen hospitalisations reach their highest level nationwide while Florida's local positive-rate on Wednesday hit 26.39 percent.
The popular Florida resort said it hit capacity just minutes after it threw open its doors on Tuesday and again today.
After closing the park on Tuesday, at around 11am local time officials confirmed the park would stay closed for the duration of the day.
But when it reopened today, it experienced a similarly high turnover of visitors, forcing operators to shut the doors once again after just ten minutes of being open to the public.
Pictures and video from the park worryingly show parents and children ignoring social distancing by queuing up in long lines – with many of them appearing to not wear any sort of face mask or covering.
According to the Universal Orlando Resort Twitter account, they expect to reopen the park later on Wednesday afternoon.
"Today, December 30th at 8:52 am, Universal Studios Florida & Islands of Adventure have reached capacity," the resort tweeted.
It added: "We anticipate reopening later this afternoon. For updates, please call our capacity hotline: 407-817-8317."
Holiday offerings have led to multiple capacity closures over the past few weeks.
Speaking to WOFL-TV on Tuesday,Lisa Nathan said she bought tickets to Universal but was turned away at 8:30am due to capacity issues.
"By the time we walked up to Islands of Adventure, which is supposed to open at 8am…We walked up at about 8:15 or 8:20 and they were already at capacity and we could not get in," Nathan said.
"As far as you could see, there were people in a standby line. It was unbelievable."
The worrying images come as the Sunshine State recorded 287.000 infections this month – with the total number of infections there now surpassing 1.3 million.
The Department of Health also reported 137 more fatalities today – bringing the death toll in Florida to 21,546.
Universal said in a statement: "We have been working to give our guests a great experience while we manage park attendance and access to our attractions as part of our COVID health and safety protocols.
"We are doing the best we can during a busy holiday period, while making sure we do not compromise our strict protocols and we ask guests for their patience and understanding."
"While in our parks, we encourage guests to use our app and watch for us to open additional virtual line time frames and track ride wait times in real time," it added.
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