Disney, Universal Drop Mask requirements at most parks
The first Universal Orlando Resort changed its mask policy, and now neighboring Walt Disney World Resort has done the same.
The change at the two Florida parks means visitors vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks. Universal Orlando Resort notes on its website, however, that Guests who are not vaccinated will be “encouraged” to wear a face covering indoors, and Walt Disney World Resort explains that park management “expects” Guests who are not fully vaccinated wear a face covering indoors.
Both parks note on their websites that the change is due to local trends and conditions. Here’s why: According to Florida’s COVID-19 response data, 427,628 new cases of COVID-19 were reported the week of January 2, 2022, but that number dropped to 103,022 new cases for the week of February 4. Additionally, 74% of Florida residents over the age of 5 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to state data.
Universal’s changes went into effect Saturday, February 12, while Disney World’s change takes effect Thursday, February 16.
“We are updating our policy for face coverings based on local trends and conditions. Fully vaccinated guests will no longer be required to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors beginning Saturday, February 12,” Universal Orlando Resort wrote on its website last week. “Guests who have not been vaccinated will be encouraged to wear face coverings indoors,” including restaurants, stores and indoor public areas of hotels.
Universal further explains that face coverings are optional for everyone in queues and outdoor rides.
Finally, Universal does not require proof of vaccination for COVID-19 to enter the park. It does, however, ask visitors to confirm that they are not sick or exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle aches, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.
As you would expect, visitors should also confirm that they have not been in contact with anyone with known or suspected symptoms of COVID-19, and that they are not subject to self-help orders. quarantine.
Walt Disney World Changes
“Beginning February 17, 2022, face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated Guests in outdoor and indoor locations,” Walt Disney World announced on its website. “We expect guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor venues, including indoor attractions and theaters. Face coverings will still be required by all Guests (ages 2 and up) on closed Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails, and the Disney Skyliner.
Walt Disney World also does not require Guests to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
On the other hand, upon entering Walt Disney World Resort, Guests “confirm that you and everyone in your party do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the resort explains on its website. These symptoms, of course, include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion and runny nose.
The station also clarifies that additional changes may be made at any time.
“As we have done since reopening, we have been very intentional and progressive in our approach to our COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” Walt Disney World explains on its website. “Based on recent trends and regulatory guidelines, Walt Disney World Resort will make adjustments to these measures, which may continue to change at any time without notice.”
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