Photo Credit: Photo by Olga Thompson/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images
Disney World Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate At Parks As Delta Variant Spreads
Walt Disney World has announced starting July 30, masks will be required again at all parks regardless of the vaccination status. The decision comes nearly six weeks after park officials said masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests.
The entertainment and theme-park giant’s decision comes amid the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidelines recommending masks indoors and outdoors as the delta variant of the coronavirus spreads rapidly.
Disney guests in Florida and California who are ages 2 and older are required to wear faces makes indoors, including on rides, buses, shuttles, the monorail, and Disney Skyliner.
Wearing masks outdoors will be optional.
In Orange County, Florida, where Walt Disney World is located, Mayor Jerry Demings recently signed an executive order declaring a local state of emergency.
“What that means is this: I will now urge our residents and visitors, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to wear a mask when in an indoor space with others. We want our residents, businesses, and visitors to follow the updated CDC guidelines to make sure there won’t be another shutdown like we experienced last year,” the mayor told reporters during a news conference.
Orange County officials reported an increase of cases and announced the 14-day rolling positivity rate was at 15.58% on July 29. To put that in perspective, that’s more than quadruple the positivity rate from the previous month.
Some states, like Minnesota, are reporting that 3 out of 4 new COVID-19 cases are the delta variant. While it remains unclear at this time why the variant is more transmissible, health leaders say it has to do with how much virus is in a person’s body.
Disney’s officials say signs reminding guests to use face coverings indoors will be found across Walt Disney World. The signs are less prominent and numerous than in the past, however.