Today, on United States President Joe Biden’s first full day in office, new travel restrictions for international travelers have been put in place.
The Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel includes a number of new policies, including mandatory COVID-19 testing before air travel for international travelers entering the United States and self-quarantine requirements in accordance with current Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines — currently 10 days.
It reads, in part:
…[travelers entering the United States from foreign countries should abide by] CDC-recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after a flight to the United States from a foreign country, as he deems appropriate and consistent with applicable law. The plan shall identify agencies’ tools and mechanisms to assist travelers in complying with such policy.
Today’s Executive Order also requires that appropriate face masks:
…be worn in compliance with CDC guidelines in or on:
(ii) commercial aircraft;
(iv) public maritime vessels, including ferries;
(v) intercity bus services; and
(vi) all forms of public transportation as defined in section 5302 of title 49, United States Code.
In short, according to these new United States travel regulations that pertain to international travelers, negative COVID-19 tests must be obtained before boarding an aircraft bound for the USA, face masks must be worn on all airplanes and other major modes of public transit, and self-quarantining is required upon reaching one’s destination — in the case of Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando vacationers, Orlando, Florida, likely by way of Orlando International Airport (MCO).
What does all of this mean for Walt Disney World Guests?
The implication of all of this is that it will now be more challenging for international visitors to visit Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
At this time, Disney World is currently still operating at limited capacity with a number of their own pandemic restrictions, including mandatory face coverings for Guests age two and over, social distancing enforcement, and Disney Park Pass reservation requirements.
Although a modified version of the Disney Park Hopper ticket returned on January 1, 2021, the Disney Park Pass system has already been extended into 2022. This is something all travelers — both domestic and international — need to be aware of prior to visiting Walt Disney World Resort right now.
Additionally, Disney recently announced that it’s popular Magical Express airport transit bus service will not be available after January 1, 2022. This was another blow to international travelers who enjoy visiting Walt Disney World for its onsite perks, which seem to be slowly diminishing amid the pandemic.
It is not yet known how long this new United States Executive Order will be valid for or how long The Walt Disney Company’s theme park restrictions will be instituted.
Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for the latest information for international Disney Parks Guests.