Disneyland Drops Mask Mandate Almost Everywhere
This past weekend, Walt Disney World dropped its face mask mandate for most areas.
At the time, California had already declared that vaccinated residents no longer needed face masks as of June 15th, the state’s official reopening date.
Putting two and two together, Disneyland appeared likely to alter its face mask policy soon. But, alas, I waited as long as I could before writing the Saturday update.
I knew this was coming, but Disneyland didn’t announce anything…until this afternoon! Yes, the Happiest Place on Earth just updated its face-covering policy. Here are the details.
California’s Recent Policy Changes
Tomorrow, out-of-state guests may visit California’s most popular theme parks for the first time since the pandemic started in March of 2020.
June 15th has stood out on the calendar for this reason. It’s THE date for out-of-state Disneyland fans who have watched with envy as Californians have returned to the park.
On June 10th, California declared that its June 15th reopening would include the dismissal of face-covering policies.
As is the case in Florida, the Golden State expects that visitors are fully vaccinated. However, it won’t require any proof of vaccination in most settings.
Also, California’s guidelines allow people who haven’t been vaccinated to go without face coverings outdoors.
The Secretary of California Health and Human Services recently explained the policy this way:
“We know that the risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection will remain in California until we reach higher levels of community immunity.
We know that about 15% of our population across the state — those are young people under the age of 12 — are not themselves eligible to be vaccinated.
So, we have a whole cohort of Californians who remain susceptible.”
Unvaccinated people must wear face coverings in the following locations: government offices, restaurants, stores, and movie theaters. You’ll notice theme parks are absent from this list!
Overall, California’s requirements have remained more stringent than CDC recommendations, which is understandable.
In terms of total deaths caused by COVID-19, California remains the state hit the hardest, although others (including Florida) have suffered more percentage-wise.
Still, California will go wide open in the morning, which has allowed Disney to switch its policies.
Disneyland’s New Mask Policy
Disney executives have communicated with the CDC throughout the pandemic. They also know that roughly 55 percent of eligible Californians are vaccinated. Overall, 59 percent of the state has received at least one dose.
This information has allowed Disneyland to follow Walt Disney World’s lead. As a result, starting tomorrow, June 15th, face coverings are no longer required at Disneyland!
This policy theoretically applies to fully vaccinated guests. Technically, anyone aged two or over who is not vaccinated must wear a face mask while indoors. That’s the rule, although enforcement may prove flimsy.
While Disneyland’s updated rules didn’t spell it out, the inference is that you don’t need to wear a mask outdoors anymore, whether you’re vaccinated or not.
Like Walt Disney World, Disneyland did add an asterisk here. The press release states:
“When the Toy Story parking lot reopens on June 18th, all Guests, regardless of vaccination status, will need to wear an appropriate face covering while on the bus transportation from the lot to the parks.”
In other words, you’ll still wear face coverings on Disney transportation, which is less of a big deal at Disneyland.
The parks will also remove all social distancing measures as part of the modified rules. All signs and ground markers will go away this week.
Disneyland won’t return to full operations for a while yet. Updated statements indicate that “some experiences and entertainment still will remain temporarily unavailable.”
In case you’re wondering, Disneyland will also maintain its current Park Pass system. This process appears to be here to stay at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Still, the overall takeaway here is that masks are almost entirely gone from Disney’s American theme parks as of tomorrow.
That’s the news you’ve desperately wanted for 15 months now, right?
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