Disney on Wednesday announced that it is once again implementing an indoor mask mandate for guests at its U.S. parks following updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in high transmission areas.
Disney said that beginning Friday, face coverings would be required for all guests ages 2 and up while in indoor portions of the parks, as well as on Disney buses, monorail and the Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status.
“This includes upon entering and throughout all attractions,” the company said on its park websites.
However, Disney said that masks would still be optional for guests in outdoor areas.
The reversal comes after Disney World in June announced that fully vaccinated guests would no longer need to wear masks in most areas of the Orlando park.
Disney also said at the time that it would be “relaxing physical distancing guidelines” in areas like shops, restaurants and attraction boarding.
However, a surge in cases primarily among unvaccinated individuals, due in part to the highly transmissible delta variant, has prompted health officials to recommend putting back in place certain health and safety measures until more people have gotten shots.
Jerry Demings (D), the mayor of Orange County, which is home to Disney World, signed an executive order Wednesday declaring a state of local emergency due to a recent surge in cases in the area, while also urging all residents regardless of vaccination status “to wear a mask while indoors and to follow updated CDC guidelines.”
Today, July 28, 2021, I signed Executive Order 2021-24, declaring a State of Local Emergency for @OrangeCoFL. I urge residents and visitors — vaccinated and unvaccinated — to wear a mask while indoors and to follow updated CDC guidelines.— Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings (@OCFLMayor) July 28, 2021
Executive Order: https://t.co/NwUe1wNzH9 pic.twitter.com/XXz4vLmvTB
According to the CDC, Florida recorded 16,038 new cases on Tuesday alone, with a seven-day average of 13,502 new infections.