Disney Reinstates Face Mask Requirement at US Theme Parks

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando

Amid growing concerns over rising COVID-19 cases, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:  DIS) reinstated a face mask requirement at its US theme parks.

Starting Friday, July 30, the company will require all guests over the age of 2 and all employees to wear face coverings in indoor locations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California, regardless of vaccination status. The rule also applies on Disney buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner. 

Masks will still be optional in outdoor areas for the time being.

Disney’s announcement follows the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance on Tuesday that fully vaccinated people should return to wearing masks in areas with high transmission rates. These hot spots include California and Florida.

CNN noted that the pandemic struck a blow to Disney’s parks and resorts division, which is considered to be the linchpin of the company’s media empire. Both Disney World and Disneyland each faced extended closures over the past year, which led to significant layoffs.

Both theme parks were closed in March 2020 as the outbreak began spreading across the US. Disney World reopened last July with social distancing and mask requirements, while Disneyland reopened earlier this year on April 30.

Disney loosened its mask rules a few weeks ago when it appeared the tide had turned in the country’s fight against the pandemic, but declining vaccination rates, combined with the highly transmissible Delta variant, are wreaking havoc

On Monday, Jerry Demings, mayor of Orange County, Florida — home to Disney World and Universal Orlando – announced the region is in “crisis mode” after experiencing a surge in cases. 

“These numbers are extraordinary. We are seeing nearly 1,000 new cases in Orange County daily. Those are the numbers we saw at the highest peak last year," Demings said.

"Many of you cannot afford to get sick. Many of you do not want to get sick. You do not want to infect your family members, just like me. So, the time really is now — like no other time in our community — for you to step up to the plate and get vaccinated.”

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Source: Equities News

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