Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Time to Mask Up Again Inside at Disney, Universal

July 27, 2021, 5:08 PM · The U.S. Centers for Disease Control today officially changed its policy on who should wear masks and when. The new guidance says that all persons - even if vaccinated - should wear masks while indoors in communities with "substantial" or "high" Covid-19 transmission.

The CDC's county-by-county national map shows that the major theme park areas in southern California and central Florida fall into the "high transmission" category, including Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties in California as well as the entire state of Florida.

That means that the U.S. federal government's top agency managing the pandemic now advises that everyone wear a mask while indoors at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Disneyland, and SeaWorld San Diego, among other destinations in those areas.

Los Angeles County in California earlier this month changed its policy to advise everyone to wear masks again while indoors, leading Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain to reinstate that rule. Since the CDC just announced the mask guidance change, other parks have not yet announced changes to their policies. We will update if and when they do, but waiting for the parks to respond should not stop any guest from complying with the new CDC guidance on their own in the meantime.

[Update: July 28 - Walt Disney World posted the following to its website: "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. This includes upon entering and throughout all attractions. Face coverings remain optional for all Guests in outdoor common areas." The Disneyland Resort also will require masks indoors as of July 30.]

The CDC today also is recommending that everyone remain masked while indoors at K-12 schools - again, regardless of vaccination status.

While masking up may help reduce whatever risk that a vaccinated person might spread the much more contagious Delta variant that is driving increased case counts across the country, a universal mask rule while indoors also helps to ensure that unvaccinated people will have to wear the masks that many of them have been avoiding, in spite of ongoing CDC guidance that unvaccinated people should be masked indoors.

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