Masks are back at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Disney announced Wednesday that masks will again be required at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and all of its parks starting Friday. The rule applies to every guest, regardless of vaccination status, when they are indoors and on board any Disney transportation.
“Beginning July 30, face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) while indoors and in Disney buses, monorail and Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status,” the company said in a one-paragraph announcement. “This includes upon entering and throughout all attractions. Face coverings remain optional for all Guests in outdoor common areas.”
The change comes following direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending masks indoors in areas of high or substantial transmission of coronavirus.
It also comes as the number of positive cases is surging across the country, particularly in Florida. Orange County, where Disney World is located, is in crisis mode, according to Mayor Jerry Demings.
“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 told CNN. “So those numbers are extraordinary. We are now in crisis mode.”
The CDC said the proliferation of the Delta variant led to the change in its recommendation on masks.
“The Delta variant is showing every day its willingness to outsmart us and be an opportunist,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said. “In rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others. This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations.”
Disney will be monitoring the type of masks worn by its guests. All guests’ masks must:
- Be made with at least two 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