Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen a number of updates announced when it comes to COVID-19 and safety precautions theme parks have implemented as a result of the pandemic.
Recently, Disney announced that it would be phasing out temperature checks and reducing social distancing. Universal Orlando Resort also made some changes in their parks. Now, Universal Orlando has announced a big change when it comes to their mask policies.
As News 6 reported, Universal Orlando recently stopped temperature screenings and reduced social distancing requirements from 6 feet to 3 feet at their parks. Now, Universal Orlando has announced another change.
Note that all of the changes below will become effective tomorrow, May 15th.
The Universal Orlando Resort website has now been updated to indicate that guests will no longer be required to wear masks outdoors (except in certain situations, more on this below). This update in policy is not specific only to guests that have been vaccinated. All guests, whether they have been vaccinated or not, will fall under this new policy.
Universal’s website does specify that “social distancing guidelines still apply in all cases.”
Guests, including those who have been vaccinated, will, however, still be required to wear masks while at indoor locations, indoor hotel public areas, and all attractions.
Face coverings will be required in all attractions and all attraction queues in Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure — whether those experiences or queues are indoors or outdoors. Universal notes that guests must wear a face mask from the moment they enter the queue to the moment they exit the ride.
For water rides at Islands of Adventure, a mask is required while waiting in the queue, but it can be removed once you board the ride vehicle.
While at indoor dining locations, masks will be required until you are seated at your table.
Face masks will not be required for any outdoor character photo opportunities, but they will be required for any indoor photo opportunities.
Additionally, Universal’s Volcano Bay Themed Water Park will no longer require masks at all.
This change is being made shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their updated mask guidance. Recently, the CDC updated their mask guidance to indicate that fully vaccinated people may resume many indoor and outdoor activities without a mask. The CDC still recommends, however, that unvaccinated people wear a mask in many situations, including when attending a crowded, outdoor event like a live performance, parade, or sports event.
So far, Disney has not announced any changes to their mask policy. Disney continues to require all guests ages 2 and up, including those who are fully vaccinated, to wear masks both indoors and outdoors at all times (except when specifically allowed to be removed, like when eating and drinking while distanced and stationary). Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has, however, made some comments about the CDC’s updated mask guidance and its potential impact on the parks.
We’ll continue to look for more updates and let you know what we find.