Universal Orlando recently dropped the need for guests to wear face masks indoors and now Walt Disney World and Disneyland are following suit. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated guests in both outdoor and indoor locations, except enclosed transportation.
Disney officials said, “COVID‑19 has been a constantly evolving situation, and for nearly two years, we’ve been very intentional and gradual in our approach to COVID‑19 health and safety protocols. Given recent community trends and the availability of vaccines, we are positioned to responsibly adjust our health and safety protocols for fully vaccinated guests.”
Resort and park guests who are not fully vaccinated will be expected to continue wearing face masks in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters. Face coverings are also still required by everyone (ages 2 and up) on enclosed Disney transportation, including buses, monorails, and the Skyliner.
Here’s a look at the new policy starting Thursday at Disneyland and Walt Disney World:
This follows a change in policy last December when the Omicron variant spread rapidly throughout Florida, and most of the theme parks re-introduced mask-wearing policies for their indoor areas, which had been allowed to lapse earlier in the year.
SeaWorld Orlando has not changed its mask-wearing protocols since earlier in 2021, and leaves the issue of face covering to its guests, just “recommending” that masks be worn indoors. Universal Orlando now has much the same policy that Disney is implementing.
At Universal Studios Hollywood, Per Los Angeles County’s Public Health order, all persons ages five and older must be prepared to show proof of full FDA or WHO approved COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test prior to entry to the theme park. A COVID-19 self-test, sometimes referred to as a “home test,” is not acceptable. Children under the age of five are not required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are required to be worn at all times, both indoors and outdoors, when visiting Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. At Universal Hollywood CityWalk, face coverings are only required to be worn indoors.
Florida’s virus infection rate ballooned to a record 65,000 new cases per day in mid-January this year, but that figure dropped to around 18,000 a day in the first week of February, while the state’s positivity rate dropped from almost 40 percent to 18 percent.
Health officials continue to urge people to wear masks in crowded places, especially indoors, as well as encouraging everyone to be fully vaccinated and boosted in an effort to be virus-free.