With Orange County and neighboring Osceola and Lake counties seeing a summer surge of COVID-19 toward new worst-ever levels, Walt Disney World is reinstating its mask mandate on Friday.
The Disney resort updated its guidances for visitors stating that starting Friday face coverings are required for all visitors ages 2 and older while indoors and in Disney buses, monorail and the Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status. This includes upon entering and throughout all attractions. Face coverings remain optional for all visitors in outdoor common areas.
“Based on recent trends and guidance, Walt Disney World Resort has continued to make changes to health and safety measures, as well as beginning to bring back some beloved experiences,” Disney states on its webpages advising visitors what to expect.
The guidance also states that certain theme parks, hotels, restaurants and other offerings may be modified or unavailable, limited in capacity and subject to limited availability or closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed.
The changes, first announced late Wednesday, came shortly after Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the county because of rising COVID-19 infections, positive-test rates, and hospital admissions. Demings’ order urged employers, including Disney World, to consider reimposing mask mandates and to considering requiring that employees be vaccinated.
The parks were fully closed through much of the spring of 2020, and have reopened in phases.
For Friday’s new policy, Disney advised guests that all face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) should:
— Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
— Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
— Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
— Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the guest to remain hands-free
— Not contain valves, mesh material or holes.
Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn.