Starting April 8th the mask policy is being updated again at Disney World. This is the first relaxation we have seen in the mask policy. The face covering policy was updated to:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo*, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time. (*Beginning April 8)
This update comes just a day after Florida opened up eligibility to all Florida residents 18 years of age and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for persons age 16 and up and the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines are authorized for persons 18 and up. All individuals under the age of 18 receiving a vaccine must be accompanied by a guardian and complete the COVID-19 vaccine screening and consent form.
When Will Disney World Stop Requiring Masks?
While this is all speculation I think we are some time away from that point. There are still no vaccines available for those under 16 years of age. In addition, newer reports are showing kids are having more complications from COVID-19. With that age range unable to get a vaccine masks are their main source of protection in public spaces.
In February, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek commented that he expects to “have some level of mask-wearing and social distancing [in the parks] through the end of this year,” the rate of vaccination nationwide.
Additionally just yesterday Orange County Mayor Demings said in a press conference that “the mask mandate will end, I think, as we get closer to maybe 50% of the total population having been vaccinated.” In terms of when that could happen, he continued on to say, “I believe that by the time we get to June, perhaps, we should be there at that point. We’ll see.”
Orange County is one of two counties that Walt Disney World resides in so they do have to follow masks rules that the counties have put in place and it looks like they are going to hold for a minimum of a couple more months.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!