During The Walt Disney Company’s Q1 FY2021 Earnings call on Thursday, Feb. 11, CEO Bob Chapek shared the company’s expectations for COVID-19 precautions at the Disney Parks and what guests can anticipate in the future.
During the call’s Q&A section, a question was posed about how the parks will operate in regards to COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout by the time 2022 arrives.
Chapek shared that company’s expectations are that, for the rest of 2021, guests should expect that some degree of social distancing and mask requirements will still be in place at the Disney Parks.
“We have no doubt that when we reopen up in parks that were closed, or increase the capacity, that we’ll have some level of social distancing and mask wearing for the remainder of this year,” said Chapek.
However, Chapek anticipates that, with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and the journey toward herd immunity, that 2022 will prove to be different for the parks.
“I believe that Dr. Fauci said earlier today that he hopes that there’s vaccines for everyone who wants them by April this year. If that happens, that is a game changer, and that could accelerate our expectations and give people the confidence that they need to come back to the parks,” said Chapek. “Will there be some overlap until we know that we’ve hit herd immunity? Sure there will. But do we also believe that we’ll be in the same state of six-foot social distancing and mask wearing in ’22? Absolutely not.”
These outlook mirrors a recent mask rule update for Walt Disney World Resort, which states that face masks are required for all guests, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
While the vaccine rollout continues, it is natural to expect that some rules at the Disney Parks will adapt to the changes and some will remain, at least for the time being.
What do you think of Chapek’s statements looking to the near future of COVID precautions at the parks? Does the notion of continued mask requirements deter you from wanting to visit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.