Disney is hoping to remove mask and social distancing protocols in 2022. These comments come from today's Disney Investor Call, where CEO Bob Chapek talked about the current state of every branch of their business. Reporters on the call really wanted to know if the executives saw an end to the current coronavirus situation that has changed how Disney Parks function. For the time being, hand sanitizing stations, masks, and the social distancing cues will all be around for the duration of 2021. With the vaccine still being produced and distributed, maybe the prognosis is a little better deeper into the year. But, as Chapek says, it would be hard to anticipate what the concrete cutoff for those safety protocols would be. However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and the Disney fans can only hope that things get closer to normal as quickly as possible.
"Yeah, I won't specifically comment on whether we anticipate getting to 2019 revenues by 2022. But I will tell you what our expectations are in terms of the state of the world by then," Chapek explained. "We have no doubt, and 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. That's our expectation. But, I believe that Dr. Fauci said earlier today that he hopes that there are vaccines for everyone who wants them by April this year. If that happens, that is a game-changer."
He added, "And that could accelerate our expectations, and give people the confidence that they need to come back to the parks. Will there be overlap until we know that we have herd immunity? Sure there will. But do we believe we'll be in the same state of 6-foot social distance and mask-wearing in 22? Absolutely not"
In the past few months, Disney had also made mention of the fact that people who have already received the vaccine will still be required to have face coverings for the time being. It says on their site, "Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing."
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