The parks at Walt Disney World lifted their mandate for visitors to wear masks months ago, but the recent surge in COVID-19 Delta variant across the country could cause a return to older policies. The parks based in Florida are dealing with the rise in positive COVID-19 cases, much like other locations across the globe. Now Disney news site Inside the Magic has broken down the reasons why Walt Disney World lifted the mask mandate to begin with and how those restrictions could possibly return very soon. For example, the initial masking rules were dropped because positive case numbers in Florida dropped below five percent, but that number has now jumped to over 12 percent and is growing; however, the most important piece is Disney's own policy.
Posted on the website for Walt Disney World is a larger note on their COVID-19 policies which leaves room for the parks to bring back a mask mandate. It reads: "Within our communities, we're encouraged that COVID-19 guidelines have been adjusted and eased by public health and government officials, paving the path for many businesses and industries to take positive steps forward. As we have done since reopening, we've been very intentional and gradual in our approach to our COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Based on recent trends and guidance, Walt Disney World Resort will be making more adjustments to these measures, including physical distancing and face coverings. These measures may change at any time without notice."
Earlier this week CDC director Rochelle Walensky revealed to Reuters that the masking guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not revised its policy even as cases of the Delta variant surge. Walensky wouldn't reveal if a new policy was being considered. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID, was asked why a national mask mandate wasn't being put forth on CNBC this week, replying: "I don't believe that we are going to see a central mandate for masking because there would be a lot of push back on that. I do think you will be seeing local mandated, mainly at situations like colleges and universities...Even business enterprises might be saying that."
If you are not vaccinated, please take the #DeltaVariant seriously and get vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider, pharmacist, & friends who have been vaccinated to get your questions answered so that you feel comfortable and informed making this critical decision. https://t.co/CGIJtW3BDK— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) July 22, 2021
Currently Walt Disney World goes by the CDC's guidance that fully vaccinated persons don't need to wear masks inside but there are some places were both the vaccinated and non-vaccinated are required to wear them. The policy reads:
"Face coverings are required for all Guests while in Disney buses, monorail and Disney Skyliner, they are now optional in most areas for Guests who are fully vaccinated. While we do not require proof of vaccination, we expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations and upon entering and throughout all attractions and transportation except ferry boats."
(Cover photo by: Disney Parks)