No more masks at Universal: Theme park lifts mask requirement for vaccinated guests

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Back in mid-May, Universal Orlando eased its mask policy to only require face coverings indoors.

Universal Orlando Resort is lifting is mask requirement for vaccinated guests starting Saturday, but is still asking that those who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear face coverings indoors.

“While we do not require proof of vaccination, we do expect those who are not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings while indoors,” the company said in a statement. “We encourage all guests to keep a safe distance between travel parties, and we remain focused on maintaining the highest cleanliness and sanitization standards.”

The move comes as a result of the recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, the company said, which eases mask-wearing protocol for vaccinated individuals indoors.

The lifted mask policy for vaccinated individuals will likely rely on a system of trust, following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on “vaccine passports” — a term used in reference to institutions verifying vaccination status. Entities that require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine could get slapped with a $5,000 fine for each affected customer or student.

“You have a right to participate in society — go to a restaurant, movie, a ballgame, all these things — without having to divulge this type of information. And oh, by the way, you give that to big companies, they are going to absolutely try to monetize that. So, we didn’t want to go down that road,” DeSantis said when signing the new proposal into law in early May.

However, the new laws still allow businesses to make their own rules regarding masks, temperature checks or other protocols.

Back in mid-May, Universal Orlando eased its mask policy to only require face coverings indoors. Neighboring Disney World is still operating under that guideline.

Universal koins SeaWorld Orlando and its sister park, Tampa’s Busch Gardens, in allowing guests who say they are fully vaccinated to to remove their masks throughout the parks. The two parks will not require proof of vaccination, but are asking guests to “respectfully comply.”

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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