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The CDC issued new guidelines for using masks in outdoor and indoor settings, today. Does this mean changes coming to the Orlando area theme parks mask policies? Here’s what JFT knows, right now.
New CDC Mask Guidelines
The CDC just released new guidelines that ease indoor mask wearing for fully vaccinated people. The guidance also indicates that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks outdoors in crowds.
Per AP News:
…the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday will ease indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places, according to a person briefed on the announcement.
The new guidance will still call for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but could ease restrictions for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
The CDC will also no longer recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds.
This announcement comes as many updates are being made to current health and safety guidelines at several theme parks, including Universal Orlando Resort and Disney World. Recently, Universal reduced their physical distancing measures to 3-feet and Disney announced they will gradually reduce physical distancing requirements in both theme parks and resorts.
Will Theme Parks Make Changes?
Of course, the big question among theme park Guests continues to focus on the mandatory masks in the parks. Will the new CDC guidelines affect the requirements at Disney and Universal?
None of the theme parks check vaccination status, at this time. Florida law prevents them from checking vaccination status or requiring the vaccine, as well.
Since the parks have no awareness of Guests vaccination status, the mask requirements likely will remain in place, for now. Please note, as of this the publication of this post, no Orlando area theme parks have altered mask policy or addressed the new CDC mask guidelines.
Current Theme Park Mask Rules
Walt Disney World’s face mask policy states:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time.
All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings.
Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.
Face coverings may have an integrated transparent plastic panel to aid in viewing the wearer’s mouth.
- These face coverings must:
Be a fabric face covering featuring a solid plastic panel containing no openings that is attached to the fabric on all sides using tight knit stitching
- Meet all face covering requirements listed above
The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.
Guests are required to wear face coverings when visiting Universal Orlando Resort, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Face coverings are available for purchase online, as well as at select merchandise locations in City Walk and the theme parks.
Guests must wear face coverings at all times, except for:
- Children under the age of three
- When actively eating or drinking while stationary
- When at a designated U-Rest face covering removal area
Note: social distancing guidelines still apply in all cases.
To stay up-to-date with the latest Disney World and Universal deals and to book your next family Universal or Disney World vacation with the top travel experts, be sure to get in touch with our team at Destinations In Florida.
Do you want to see the theme parks ease up on face mask guidelines? Let us know in the comments below.