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Breaking: Masks to be required again at Walt Disney World

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 7/29/2021 Summer Hull
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As of Friday July 30, masks will again be required while indoors at Walt Disney World.

This new mask requirement applies to all guests, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings will also be required on Disney buses, the monorail and Disney Skyliner.

The news comes the same day Orange County, Florida mayor Jerry Demings issued a state of emergency and reinstated a county mask mandate as new cases of COVID-19 infections surged.

The 180-degree change from Disney comes on the heels of updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends face masks be worn when gathering indoors regardless of vaccine status in places experiencing a COVID-19 surge. The Central Florida area, where Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort are located, is currently experiencing a surge of cases that matches the peak caseloads experienced by the area during the earlier phases of the pandemic.

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With over 1,000 new daily cases in recent days, and local hospitals back at a “red level” status that allows them to defer elective procedures to create more capacity, Mayor Demings recently described the current local situation as a “crisis mode.”

Walt Disney World first loosened its face mask policy, which had been in place since its July 2020 reopening, to permit guests to take their masks off while outdoors as of May 15.

Related: Masks are again required in Las Vegas

This policy was further loosened on June 15 when masks were no longer required anywhere on Walt Disney World property with the exception of while on Disney transportation (monorails, buses, etc.). Technically, those who were unvaccinated were still required to wear masks while indoors at Disney World, but in the absence of any verification of vaccine status, the vast majority of all guests ceased wearing face masks as of June 15.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

For most of the last year following the parks’ reopening, Walt Disney World had leaned heavily into pandemic precautions that included temperature checks upon entry, mandatory face masks except while stationary and eating or drinking, limited capacity and clear social distancing between guests in lines and on attractions.

However, virtually all of those precautions had been ended by mid-June 2021, so this marks the first time a COVID-19 precaution has returned to “the most magical place on earth.”

Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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